Written by dandan

I was brought up to believe in the free market, that the laws of supply and demand would regulate prices and a product was worth what someone would pay for it. Which is why the cost of oil and gold to name but two, are going through the roof in these uncertain times

Since time immemorial it has also been said, that the labourer is worthy of his hire, meaning that someone should always be paid the rate for the job.

But can we honestly say that footballers meet any of these criteria?

Is there a point when morally supply and demand outstrip the rate for the job?

It is reasonable to suppose that in the Premier League (where the average salary is £28k a week), that a run of the mill player earning say 25k who can be easily replaced if injured, is probably overpaid, whereas it is far more difficult to argue that a player like Rooney, Torres or Fabergas is overpaid when judged by the same criterion, i.e. ease of replacement.

The morality of such largesse must though be questionable. Should anyone be allowed to negotiate such contracts, maximising his or her income, irrespective of the clubs actual success, literally holding them to ransom, knowing those contracts are in all but the very wealthiest of clubs, redundant before they are even signed.

The players are secure in the knowledge that should they really want a move the clubs are generally powerless to stop them, unable to afford having such an expensive asset unsettled, uninterested and a disruptive influence in the dressing room. Or should all salaries, include a standard basic, appearance money and agreed bonuses providing they meet the criteria set out below? If so where would image rights appear in this?

Isn’t it also time UEFA stopped mouthing threats and actually set some rules to create an even playing field across Europe and give all clubs an equal chance?

Limit all clubs’ wage bills to a percentage of turnover.

Stop the rich owners from exceeding these limits and demand debt-ridden clubs reduce their debts, banning any activity that further increases that debt until they meet the criteria laid down.

Make all leagues share the TV revenue fairly and proportionately as in the Premier League.

Do UEFA have the power or the will to tackle the problems head on or will they hide behind the good old restraint of trade clause as an excuse to do nothing? Are they terrified that the really big clubs will take their ball and form a true European league, as the Premier League did to the football league, when the cash cow that was pay to view appeared on the horizon.

124 Responses to WHO PAYS WINS

  1. charybdis1966 says:

    London – you asked about “Project Youth” – I’ll repost what I said at the bottom of the last post:

    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 ?

  2. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning Dandan – I think what your post points me to is the need for a salary cap of some sort and applied Europe wide, it works in the States and is in operation in rugby here. This will keep the Premier League competitive as interest is being squeezed out by what is now turning into a battle of bank balances rather than a sporting competition.

  3. Alfa says:

    Morning Dandan and Chary.

    Dandan, you are right that something needs to be done, not least because we pay for all of these players anyway through our tickets and TV subscriptions, which are way too high in the EPL.

    So hard to do though. All the big clubs will find ways to work round the restrictions surely?

  4. London says:


    Do these people believe that Wenger purposely adopted “Project Youth” or do they believe that it was forced on him?

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    London, that’s a difficult one – the ones who are screaming for Wenger to go are assuming he has adopted this out of stubbornness and to prove a point. Others feel he may have been forced to go this way by circumstances out of his control.

  6. Alfa says:

    Morning London. What do you think?

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    Sorry Alfa, how rude, Morning sir.

  8. London says:

    Morning DanDan

    I fear that the criticism has got more to do with the fact there are new Sugar Daddies on the block such as Man City and Chelsea who are affecting our standing. I also suspect that if we had one of them Wenger would stop talking about financial doping.
    As admirable as the idea of clubs only being able to pay a certain percentage of their income in wages this will take all hope away from teams in the lower league of changing their lot.
    I don’t know much about the lower leagues but it seems to me that teams like Notts County continue to exist on the dream that one day a White Knight will ride in and save them and by save I mean inject a lot of cash enabling them to move up the tables.

  9. London says:

    Morning Alfa

    I am a firm believer that “Project Youth” has been forced on Wenger and being too much of a gentleman he will not criticise it. The reason for its introduction was the arrival of Abramovich, we could no longer compete in the transfer market as we had before. The simplest example is Wright Phillips, we showed an interest in him and they trebled his wages and paid a fee that went way beyond common sense. An alternative had to be found….enter “Project Youth”.

  10. Morning all

    Good article dandan, someone somewhere needs to start taking control.

    If reports in the press are to be believed Abramovitch is about to take his ball back – several players will be available on a free this summer as he’s refusing to have contract negotiations until the end of the season.

  11. Alfa says:

    Chary, in the US there is a big difference in that the top sports leagues (NFL etc.) are a closed shop. The franchises are very stable and it’s managed as one big business in many ways, or collection of related businesses. There is no threat of relegation and no opportunity for someone to pump money into a Notts. County, to London’s point.

    I’d love to see an answer though.

  12. Alfa says:

    London, I agree 100% with your last point.

  13. charybdis1966 says:

    The reason the “Wenger out” brigade think he has chosen “Project Youth” of his own volition is that he tried a similar thing at Monaco and when it didn’t work he was booted out. I don’t know how true this is though.
    Alfa – I know the NFL system won’t work here wholesale but it would have to be adapted in many ways – the alternative to this is the status quo where interest will die down if sport is all about, as I called it, a battle of the bank balances.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post DD, and much to think about.

    First, get rid of agents and have the PFA negotiate for their clients thereby reducing the wage bills by 10-15%. (London 😉 )

    A little joke…. hehehehehe

  15. Ricardo Gonzales says:

    UEFA were supposed to introduce the financial restarint on the the clubs 2012. It has now been pushed to 2015. I just hope there is no more delay.
    Otherwise England will be like Scotland.It’s gettin pathetic over there.I want football to be played not not using money. If the field is level, it will make matches more exciting. Chelsea and MU have most to fear.

  16. London says:

    The fact that Wenger brought success to such a small town like Monaco is another miracle.

    It’s always been a battle of the bank balances. Man U have been buying the league for years now City are able to compete they don’t like it. Arsenal have a history of splashing out on big name signings (DanDan will have the list) but now we have a competitor in the form of Abramovich we are crying foul.

  17. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Good post dandan

    UEFA is IMHO a branch of Serie A & La Liga. Those 2 comps get away with so much. When they were dominating the European Cup/CL you never heard comment coming from UEFA that rules need to change to curb their domination. They just let player transfer fees skyrocket, & now we have what you say.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Not for nothing were we called “The Bank of England” in the 30/40’s

  19. charybdis1966 says:

    Ah Radders – I wasn’t around then !

  20. Big Raddy says:

    BTW. What a fine game last night. So much easier to watch when we are not involved.

    And a clear lesson to AW on tactics (though Inter had the personnel as well)

  21. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Albiet man Shitty qualify for the CL, they look to have a more promising immediate future than The Arsenal. I am basing that on the fact that I really don’t think The Club will sign the necessary players to give it the edge.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I was but a mere youth Chary ….

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Hope you GG. In Arsene we Trust

  24. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening BR

    What tactics were they, hold firm then hope Barca tire from the 2 day bus trip. Maureen is the luckiest bloke in football.

    Mind you I didn’t see the game 🙂

  25. Alfa says:

    London, are you seeing we can go back to the days of Co.. sorry Champagne Charlie 🙂 Or further back than that?
    GG, not so sure I agree with you. Is Mancini really such a great manager? A threat yes, but more promising than us?

  26. emve says:

    the reason for ‘project youth’ is neither wenger’s stubbornness nor the arrival of abramovich. it has to do with building a new stadium. the club was basically skint and I read (I think in Fynn/ Whitcher) that at one point in the mid-noughties the coffers of the club were as bare as ‘arry’s cupboards. the Monaco-story is nonsense, Wenger left after being cheated for years by Bernard Tapie of Olympic Marseille who ‘bought’ numerous league titles for his club. Wenger would have won the French league about four times in a row with Monaco.
    Wenger is only stubborn when it comes to transfer fees and history tells you that he adopts a very long-term view. his basic rule is never to pay over the odds even if it might make you look stupid (see Flamini’s new contract or refusal to buy Chamakh), because once you do it you lose a lot of bargaining power. clubs dealing with Wenger know that he will just walk away if they demand too much and that they cannot hold him to ransom…
    with regard to the post, the PL should look to Germany. Clubs there have to apply for a license every year and they only get a license if they have balanced books for the last year (or if they incur debts for investment in stadia etc., they have to show that they are profitable enough to pay of the debt). Problem is that this is also linked with a different ownership structure and that is virtually impossible to change in the PL. to me, best option is a salary cap linked to the clubs turn-over, although the problem is that it will cement the current power structure: arsenal et al. will stay on top, while small clubs with small stadia have no chance of competing (although their only chance of competing today is to bankrupt themselves in the chase of success)

  27. Alfa says:

    Emve, I wrote a post a while back about Arsenal being skint. I was deliberately a bit provocative with the language but the essence is true I think – the club were in a lot worse state than they let on a few times. All the more credit to AW in my view. Things look better now but I fear people will be disappointed if they are expecting big spending this summer – unless the board start taking risks which I think/hope they won’t.

    Why don’t we cap admission prices as well as wages? I like the salary cap in one way but another thing it will cement in is the ongoing rise in the cost of supporting our clubs. The board will be able to say we have to put the prices up so that we can afford to pay for xyz new player or contract re-signing. Which would be a shame. So capping wages and capping admission prices would work better for me and make it a bit easier for teams to come up through the ranks.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    MV. Very good comment.

    I cannot see anyway that the finances of football can change. Player power is such that wage demands sky-rocket and only the wealthy can afford them. But it has always been so.

    How else can one explain Blackburn winning the PL?

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Alfa. Great idea but it will never happen.

    The real power lies with what was the G14 clubs. It is not to their benefit to make an even playing field.

    They will veto any proposal and create the EuroLeague that UEFA are so fearful of.

    But of course, volcanic ash would play havoc with the fixture list!

  30. Alfa says:

    BR, yes they spent Jack Walker’s millions but Blackburn also had a pretty decent manager then. And OK they paid £3m+ for Shearer but they sold him for £15m so not so reckless.

  31. Alfa says:

    BR, I think you are right it will never happen but maybe market forces might kick in. Arsenal have held the season ticket price for a couple of seasons now (at the highest level in the league mind you), presumably because they thought putting the price up might start to deter people, despite the big waiting list.

  32. London – you posed a very good question earlier, that is worthy of more consideration.

    Do these people believe that Wenger purposely adopted “Project Youth” or do they believe that it was forced on him?

    My view is as follows, AW knew as a club we could not compete with a 38.8K capacity, so he encouraged the step up to the emms, knowing full well that a few seasons of hands tied on transfer side would enuse.

    He agreed to this, confident in his abilty to breed a younger, cheaper side, that remained competitive.

    He succeeded without any shadow of a doubt, i think some struggle with the concept that competitive does not always mean picking up silverware.

    AW had hoped the silverware would come aswell, but the advent of the chav billions could not have come at a worst time in our history and development.

    In the 4 years at the emms, we have challenged twice for the title, had a carling cup final, and CL and FA cup semis. Not bad at all on the budget.

    So in summing up, i think project youth was not entirely forced on him, but it became the almost impossibile job due to the 100’s of millions the chavs, the yanks at utd and pool, and the enic crew at the spuds have been chucking around since we moved house.

    Thankfully, the worst of our reliance on project youth is over with, and we can now fully compete for big signings, and blend these in with the youth.

    The greatest benefit of project youth has obviously not been silverware, yet, but the conveyor belt of talent that is now set up for the future, we now have a football academy that is talked about all over the world.

    Add to the odd genius, wilshere anyone?, the academy will produce here and there, we will also have the fruits of the emms to go out and add a 30M player to the mix.

    Football Utopia, gooners.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Plus there has to be some element of real world finances when dealing with the fans.

    With inflation low and the crisis taking grip, the club must realise that they are fleecing us to the limit. However, do you think they would keep prices the same if we won the League?

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Let’s hope so SfH

  35. BR – can you see it panning out any other way?

  36. good post @ 10.50 emve

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Only insomuch as a large pricetag doesn’t guarantee the right team player. Though few of AW’s high profile purchases have been duds (percentage -wise).

    Otherwise as I have been saying for a couple of years. The future is Bright. The future is Arsenal….

  38. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    I not totally convinced that Arsene Wenger is that good a manager either TBH. He tends to choke, & even when he had all the resources available he lost The Title 5 times outa 8. & the only time he got to the CL final was with Martin Keown working wonders with clean sheets @ the back.

    Al eyes are on Arsene Wenger now. no more excuses, no where to hide, he must deliver a trophy next year of move on.

    Mancini may not even manage man Shitty. Maureen may get the job, & you know they will spend.

  39. Would you regard Reyes as a dud?

  40. GG9 – i have talked about this before… maybe on another blog

    A BIG BIG BIG MYTH that martin keown worked on our defence during the 05/06 CL run.

    He was merely at the club for a few months, completeting his UEFA coaching badges.

    AW allowed him on the training field to learn from him, gutter journos put 2 and 2 together and got 86… the myth has been perpetuated ever since.

    AW mentioned it in an interview a while back aswell, confirming he did NOT work on the defence.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    BTW it is snowing hard here!!

    Global warming??

  42. hope froch gets stuck in it.

  43. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi SfH – who is Froch ?

  44. lol, he is a boxer from nottingham who is a fighting over in denmark this weekend.

    Pretty big fight to boot… anyway, i am rooting for the Viking Warrior.

  45. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh right SfH – no wonder I didn’t know who he was.

  46. Alfa says:

    GG I take your point but I can remember plenty of times when competing for the title was an achievement in itself. In terms of competing for the top players, I can still remember being excited that we had bought David Platt – finally we were moving back into the big time! How times change.

    BR, I’m sure the prices would go up if we won the league. Hopefully mostly at Club level though ;).

  47. andy says:

    Hello Evry1

    Am I the only one who is confused by Wengers project youth in so much as that we have better young players out on loan than the ones kept at the club and playing in the first team. The Norwegian guy for 1, is 19 too young for a defender ? Wasnt the best defender we have ever had 17 when he played for us ?

  48. andy says:

    but…. back to the point of the article. Great piece, nice idea and in an ideal world it makes sense…unfortunately sense ans footballs governing bodies dont often come together as one.

  49. And_Arsn_Said.... says:

    Time for a wider perspective and balance to counter the D&G’s, see this site, all gooners must read:


  50. Alfa says:

    AAS, thanks for that, a good read and some good info from some of the comments. I wish I’d had access to the Transfer League table when I got so slated for saying that we had been a selling club over the last few years.

  51. Rasputin says:

    Hi andy,

    The cynic in me agrees with Alfa in that the big clubs will find ways of rewarding their players better.


    I’m sure most of us on here are familiar with Tony Attwood’s wise words. Until Arsène decides to give his version of events when appropriate, we will never know the complete truth as to whether the so-called ‘project youth’ was forced on Arsène due to lack of funds or whether it was partly due to his vision for the future and conservative nature.

    His decision making in certain areas should not be considered to be beyond examination.

  52. I agree with Rasputin – if ‘project youth’ was either forced upon him or his own invention to protect the balance sheet it doesn’t explain in any way some of the strange decisions that he’s made or the unwise things that he’s said. Unless he wants to be known as a maverick…………

  53. London says:

    What strange things?

  54. dandan says:

    Afternoon all, sorry about the snow Raddy lovely spring day here, just laying out the garden furniture for the summer

    Rasp/Peach Am with London in this, am often amused after watching AW’s press conference how much spin is put on his remarks by our saintly journo’s

  55. charybdis1966 says:

    Good one Dandan, I prefer to call them vituperative hacks.

  56. Aw has always been an easy target… he is the geek in the class that everybody can bully for being a LOT smarter than them.

    Whereas, it pays to side with the snarling bully boys in the classroom.

  57. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Why, when you have Jens, Swiss Phil, Toure, Eboue, Flamini who set a CL record for longest time to not let in a goal, would you go into the final dropping Swiss Phil & Flamini, for Sol & Ashley Cole. & both were fit for the final.

  58. Rasputin says:

    Hi London, dandan,

    I can’t speak for peaches and I happen to know she’s not around to answer your questions.

    If anyone is taking the stance that Arsène is perfect or no-one has a right to question his actions then I see no point in entering into a debate as there is ‘no debate’ in their minds.

    I have asked questions about his decision making in the past and it would be tedious to go over them again. As I said yestrday, I have made a mental note to judge Arsène at the end of the summer when (maybe for the first time in 6 years) he may not be so restricted in his actions by financial constraints.

  59. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Some outside influence helped create that period of no goals against in 2005/2006, Arsene Wenger struggles with his teams now to go 1 game not conceding.

  60. hmm, who was the “outside influence” who helped the team to become invincible in 2004?

    or win 2 doubles?

    GG9 – it’s too easy to knock wenger right now, give it a season, and it will be easy to praise him.

  61. GG9 – i agree wholeheartedly, he should have kept flamini in at left back for the final.

    but, his plan nearly worked, with 10 men, we got to within 15 minutes of being european champions.

  62. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Henry & Bergkamp were the keys IMO. But Wenger has not been able to replecate such heady heights in his beloved CL. He could have but he tinkered with an already proven formula @ the back for the final.

  63. We got robbed out of the CL in 2008, that was a side that could have easily of gone on to win it.

    Those 2 games against pool that season were hexed.

  64. London says:


    Nobody as far as I can see is doing this and certainly not me. Please, please, please understand this.

    “If anyone is taking the stance that Arsène is perfect or no-one has a right to question his actions then I see no point in entering into a debate as there is ‘no debate’ in their minds.”

  65. andy says:

    I dont wana keep going over old ground but i dont see the defence as being that bad.. Its the fact that nobody in front of them sees it as their job to defend. A ‘perfect footballing’team should attack and defend as a unit but week after week we see everyone go forward but only a few rush to get back. Add to that our issues between the sticks and you have chaos every time the opposition attack.

  66. andy , song does, and he has been a HUGE miss in recent games.

    as results have shown.

  67. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    I don’t want Le Gaffer to go, but I don’t think he should hold all the cards. He needs help with marshalling his defence for instance. & the biggest help would be to get in some quality/depth. I would love nothing more than to see old Frenchie holding up trophys by the number, sticking it up all those who have given him grief. But he must work smart, starting from now.

  68. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    True with the 2 Poo results. That Babel penalty was a joke 👿

  69. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Almunia & Polish boy aren’t up to it.

  70. Very fine margins ( and blasted injuries ) have cost us this season.

    Last season was a mess, finishing 18 points off the winners was crap.

    I am convinced with 2 or 3 additions, we will romp the league next season.

    Not win it, but romp it!!

  71. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Remember ’91. Only let in 18 goals in 38 games. Now that was defending, but ofcourse that was Georgie Graham 🙂

  72. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I’m with you there SFH, but Le Prof worries me that he won’t get those additions in.

  73. what is the worry? we had no money in the past, we now do.

    trust me, he will be spending this season, i guarantee it.

  74. who else thinks Rocha from pompey would be a fine back-up CB, every time i watch him play he is outstanding.

    ex spud though.

  75. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Well SFH I’m going to run with what you say, He will spend 🙂

    Off to hit the sack, night all

  76. andy says:


    Song is the exception and prooves the point. Our better teams of the past had 4-5 of the forward players tracking back now we have Song and cesc. Dumb and dumber just slowly trudge back as though its not really their job. I do think this is the year that AW will spend though. I dont care about why he hasn’t in the past whether it be finance or ideals as long as he dips into the fund this year. Not too many just 3-4 quality players to fill the gaps.

  77. take it easy, GG9 😉

  78. Diaby started off the season so well, he was showing us the player we all belived he could be.. i just think he has burned out for the year as he started his pre-season a month before everybody else.

    He will come back a monster for us next season, keep the faith with him.

  79. GhostFace says:


    A very informative post..although to some degree I will say that it is not always about cash that players hold their clubs to ransom…sometimes its a question of ambition. As many of our star players have left because they felt the club wasnt ambitious.

    Also just to add to what you’ve already said…there are other issues with holding onto players…it is not only internal it becomes an external issue as well.

    Players from over seas who will inevitably be paid more $$$$ at Mancitty will probably go to Mancitty and the only thing that may ore may not attract top players to us will be our history.

    It also points out there is little or no morality left in football. Players either want to win. Or get paid. Or both.

  80. andy says:

    Not sure. I think he sums up the new breed of arsenal player. great for 4-5 game, terrible for 4-5 games and average for the rest. Need consistency.

  81. chippy says:

    Good post this morning well worth reading,

    The way i see it we can talk about whether Wengers had money, got money, will have money, not had a pot to piss in and so forth until the cows come home but one thing i cannot get my head around is out total inability to be able to defend anymore,

    Now most would say the belgiam has been a great addition but we still concede stupid goals and will probably concede more than last season,

    That has nothing to do with money thats all to do with tactics, hours spent training and so forth and until Wenger sorts that part of our side out it dosent matter a jot how much we spend !!

  82. chippy says:

    Meant to add People keep saying this season has been a great improvement on the last one,

    How exactly, for the life of me i cannot see it, We will lose more games, conceed more goals in a weaker league and not do as well in the cup competitions i just cannot see this big improvement maybe im missing something somewhere,

  83. andy says:

    Well said chippy. 3 improvements TV, SONG AND EBOUE but the fancy all-out attack at any cost system has failed us

  84. chippy – is it a weaker league?

    or have the smaller sides all got a little better?

    we are not th eonly team to have lost more games than last season.. both chavs and united have aswell… and pool are out of the top 4.

    to me, that shows the entire league are better at taking on the big boys.

    certainly made for a more entertaining league.

  85. GhostFace says:


    Add to the defending what we were saying last night, the anti-shooting, the shambles on set-pieces…as you said its all tactics and substitutions and that has fuck all to do with finances.

    We need to look long and hard at our defending and get someone who knows how to do it.

  86. GhostFace says:

    Also cannot agree we have improved from last season.

    If Liverpool didnt capitulate we will still be 4th.

    The top 2 are clearly weaker…other have beat them yet Arsenal have not and cannot.

    We made it to the semifinals of both the CL and FA cups…and this year…..!

    Its not even a debate.

  87. GF – we finsihed last season on 72 points

    we are already on 71 points.

    we should finish on or arounf 80 points… so we have inmproved.

    or does the league table lie?

  88. we have already won 22 games this season with 3 games to go

    last season we won 20.

  89. andy says:

    If we play like we have for the last two weeks i think we will be lucky to match last seasons 72

  90. if song is back, arshavin is looking likely to be back, rvp will start.

    and city will lose.

  91. andy says:

    I dont think we can be that bad for another 3 games though…. i hope ! haha

  92. right… off for a steam and sauna.

  93. GhostFace says:


    Yes we turned some shocking draws we had like against Middlesborough last year to wins…like Wolves and Hull city. 2 extra wins.

    2 or 3 extra wins is absolutely irrelevant when we cannot and have not demonstrated that we can win when it matters.

  94. chippy says:

    I personally think the league this season is weaker hence my point, have we really improved as in my book Chelsea United and Liverpool are regressing and in Liverpools case fast !

    So although we are closer thats more to do with them getting worse than us suddenly improving in my book, I wouldnt say the smaller sides have improved that much as there was a serious lack of spending last summer bar City if anything again at best most have stood still,

    They are only better taking on the so called big boys as the big boys are all in my view at the lowest point they have been for nigh on 10 years,

    GF, I agree although on a couple of those other points i think certain players need to stand up and be counted as they are full internationals and some of the aimless passing we have witnessed is them not wanting to take risks and i wouldnt blame Wenger for that, But with regards the Defending and Tactics employed he has to take the Blame and not having cash is no excuse,

    Id also add what money that has been spent always seems to go on the same sort of player meaning we have one of the most un balanced squads at Arsenal ive seen in my lifetime which again must be attributed to him,

    This is not a Wenger out post in any sense as i beleive we owe him the same sort of loyalty he displayed in taking us to the Emirates when he must have known he would be competing in an unfair fight He could have left at any stage and walked into the madrid job but was honour bound in staying and for that i will always always hold him in the highest esteem possible especially in todays fuck everyone else culture,

    Im just trying to balance up the pros and cons a bit 🙂

  95. dandan says:

    Thanks for the kind comments, As far as the ongoing AW debate is concerned,the Tony Attwood blog as recommended by ASS at 12,46 puts the whole thing to bed.

    Statistics can be made to prove more or less anything, but IMHO regardless of any statistics that are put forward, nothing will persuade the long time Arsenal watchers (40 yrs plus) that the Wenger era has been any thing but the golden time in so many ways for Arsenal FC.
    Sure money and injuries have taken there toll, sure he has made mistakes, who hasn’t? But through it all shines the vision, knowledge and sheer ability of AW, he has guided the club through the tough years.
    Now the worm has turned, we have improved this year, we will add to the squad in the summer and we will be the team to beat for years to come.
    Whilst still playing the wonderful football that has made Arsenal just about any football fans favourite domestic team to watch when there own isn’t playing.

  96. London says:

    Great comment DanDan, that is a post in its self.

  97. Rasputin says:

    Hi dandan,

    Thanks for today’s excellent post, I bet a lot of people would have read the headline and assumed it was about buying new players, but you’ve been original and managed to put a different slant on the financial situation.

  98. GhostFace says:


    That is a fantastic comment an nobody is in disagreement at all with those facts. We do however would love to see Arsene succeed and are discussing things we feel he can improve upon.

    Stats can be misguided but some of them are useful. People who are statistician’s in sales, insurance and even in football use stats to have a better understand or insight for improvement. And Arsenal FC need improvements…in just about every aspect of our football. From finishing upfront all the way to the back.

    The business side of things is perfectly excusable and there are no arguments there…(at least not today) but our footballing needs to be seriously looked at. This 4-3-3 formation doesnt suit some of our players

  99. Alfa says:

    GF, Chippy, what would count as a successful season in your view?

  100. GhostFace says:

    A successful season is one that we’ve improved upon from the previous season.

    A successful season is a season that we’ve achieved the goals that the board, and the manager have promised and set out to achieve at the start of the season.

  101. dandan says:

    Thanks Rasp you are welcome.

    Our players have been schooled in this style of football from the moment they first put on an Arsenal shirt at any level. Uniformity is the clubs watchword coaching wise. Of course some players have disappointed at certain times and I do not intend going through that lot again, they are young and have to be given the chance to fail.
    The league is dotted with ex Arsenal players who have failed the test then moved on to rewarding careers elsewhere at tasty prices. An Arsenal apprenticeship is a guarantee of quality to most football folk.
    Whether you accept it or not a we have lost a host of fine first choice players this year through long term injury.( about as many as Man U did at Munich, you see what I mean about stats) These players have had to be replaced by the squad players you decry, well worry not if they don’t make it with us they will provide cash towards the 3 or 4 players AW will bring in this summer. Whilst at the same time making room for new upcoming squad members.

    I doubt we will ever meet with such devastation to our team again (short of a plane crash that is).
    So the lessons of Spurs and Wigan savage as they are, are exactly that, lessons.

    AW will learn from that and move on

  102. chippy says:

    Playing at Highbury with our proper badge on our chest but thats a whole difeerent issue lol

    For a club such as us Alfa a successful season would be winning the League or to make me die happy the Champions league but id settle for the Fa Cup,

    We are the capitals biggest club we charge the highest price for tickets in Europe have sell out crowds each week so to not win a trophy for me is an un successful season,

    Do i expect us to win something every season no not at all and im not one to throw my toys out of the pram unless the players play like they did against wigan , but success is based on trophies,

  103. GhostFace says:


    What lessons did AW learn from the CL semifinal defeat to Utd?

    What about the 4-4 with spurs last season?

    N’zogbia’s winner looked erringly similar to Jenas’ 3rd goal at the Emirates.

    We keep saying they will learn…but when?

    What about Rory Delap throws?

    What about closing out games? We score in the last minute but we also concede more late goals than any of the top 3.

    The lessons we have supposedly supposed to have learnt after Birmingham 2 years ago have not been learnt well. We lose our fight and our spirit at the business end of the season…and 1 half of lazyness inevitably undid a whole season of hard work.

    I see a repetition from 2 seasons ago. So im not convinced lessons have been learnt.

  104. Alfa says:

    GF, thanks but I mean what would your goals be?

    Chippy, fair enough, a major trophy is a reasonable goal. I think a lot of people would agree with that.

    I guess for me of course I want that but I’d honestly swap the way we play for winning a trophy. I don’t think I pay to watch us every week if we played like Chelsea, even if we won 3 trophies.

  105. GhostFace says:


    I love the way we play. But when was the last time we played attractive football? Porto? What other game can you remember asides from porto?

  106. charybdis1966 says:

    GFace – we’ll see if the lessons have been learnt on Saturday in the short term, because it will be fresh in their minds. However I wonder how many more times this could happen in the next season.
    Are you going on Saturday BTW ? I get to be at the north end for a change, with all the hardcore supporters and not the family enclosure as usual.

  107. Alfa says:

    GF, fair point, this lot are hardly the Invincibles. However, what about the first leg against Barça? Most of the European home matches have been pretty good. Have you forgotten the early part of the season? Spurs 3-0? We were playing on a different level. Everton right at the start? Blackburn weren’t on the same pitch for most of the game. The more of our top players are available the better we seem to play.

  108. dandan says:

    Ghost you will have to accept if you watch the Arsenal that we like Barca do not close out games, our whole style is based on possession and scoring more than you and by and large we do that.
    The delap criticism makes me laugh, we are not alone in this failing which is why the man is known for his throw more than his football.
    As for the lack of spirit that too is part of growing up and the TVs injury on top of all else, I think was the final straw after a season of adversity.
    But the upside of course was that Sol was reclaimed by gooners and will be here next year to add support to the first team.
    Have faith my friend, instead of beating yourself up, use your obvious knowledge to impose a positive spin for next year. It is far less stressful

  109. Alfa says:

    Chary, they look like a rough lot from where I sit. I think they might even swear at the opposition fans sometimes, so watch yourself ;).

  110. GhostFace says:

    charry we will see indeed…

    I wnt be making it out there but i bet the fans will be very up for it seeing as Adebuymore would be there.

    Im just tired and would love to see improvement.

    For the last couple seasons we’ve been strong in the beginning and have died off at the end…and then we’ve been strong at the end but died off in the beginning all with injuries as the typical excuse.

    This season it was clear that AW had money to spend in January and chose not to.

  111. GhostFace says:


    Then you will agree with me that those are only a handful of games? We’ve played about 40 plus games this season and we only played attractively in a handful of them…yes we played magnificently at the start of the season…which is my point. We havent been able to maintain and sustain that level of quality for the whole season and when we’ve run out of ideas what do we do next? Hoof the ball for Bendtner to give us a life line.


    With respect i have to disagree that we are anything like barcelona. They have talent…prob the best talent but they fight and press when they dont have the ball. We did that earlier on in the season and then stopped it completely. It is no coincidence when we stopped pressing teams the pretty football died with it as well?

    I dont remember any of the top teams suffering from Rory Delap throws except Arsenal. Maybe im wrong there. He’s effective against Hullcity or maybe Sunderland but not Chelsea and certainly not Utd or liverpool so forgive me if i look at ourselves as a class above the rest and is unacceptable for a top team like ours to concede like that.

    Also we have just witnessed even with the mighty barca that possession without shots on goal and without a defensive mindset…you can and will get turned by a good team…and we are clearly not as good as barca

  112. Chippy says:

    agree with alot of what you wrote but cannot agree on the spirit issue these lads at there age should be busting a gut to win something and join the list of players that have achieved in the colours of the club, in fact I’d say the opposite is true the younger generation should have far more desire than say sol who’s been there and done it, I think we make to many excuses in the age department,

  113. dandan says:

    Fair enough Chippy, but in my experience, Spirit, motivation, desire are the buzz words that the pundits love to chuck about, but what they all boil down to is confidence and I just happen to think that a combination of TV and our comedy keepers drained the confidence from the team. The fear of a bad pass or mistake then increases and becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
    As we all know if you think you will lose, you will do.

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Re: N’Zogbia’s goal.

    For some reason two players showed a one-footed player inside onto his left foot. Rank bad defending. TV would never have allowed it, he would have stepped up and forced N’Zogbia down the line.

    Delap? Well a decent GK would make a difference.

  115. Chippy says:

    defo not only have the keepers 10 teammates got no confidence in them either have the other 60 odd thousand people in the ground lol,

    The only reason I brought up the age thing was the title winning team under graham consisted of many young talents rocastle,Thomas, Adams, merson etc but they all had bucket loads of heart and desire and they were no younger than this batch, different times mind

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Chippy. Exactly different times.

    Do you think that players from outside Britain have less heart and desire?

  117. Alfa says:

    GF, no I don’t agree with you because I’ve enjoyed our play in a lot more than a handful of games, but I can see that there has been room for improvement in all of them.

    Chippy, I’m with you, leaders can be any age.

  118. Chippy says:

    Big Raddy,
    Not at all mate Players like DB10,henry,paddy loved the club and always put the effort in as did less celebrated ones such as say grimandi sylvinho etc I just think the clubs gone to soft on these lads and wrap them in there own little bubble and over protect them whether from these shores or foreign fields, I couldn’t give a flying where players are from as long as they represent the shirt in the right manner jesus just look at that twat bentley he’s English but a complete knob end who I’m so happy is at another club.

  119. RockyLives says:

    Dandan, interesting post, good read. I have to pick you up on one comment (at 4.58) – that everyone struggles with Delap’s throws. I’m afraid that’s just not true.
    Stoke have scored precisely 4 goals from Delap throw-ins in the league this season – 2 against Burnely, 1 against Wolves and one against us. The other 16 teams seem not to have been too troubled by the towel-loving Neanderthal.
    Oh, and we conceded another one from a Delap throw-in in the FA Cup.
    Delap is credited with 8 assists in all competitions so far – which means 25% of them were against Arsenal.
    Not sure what conclusions to draw from this except the obvious one that both we and Burnley haven’t figured out how to handle his throws…

  120. RockyLives says:

    If you really want to look at a Stoke dangerman, look no further than ex-Spud Matthew Etherington, the best corner taker in the league.
    He’s got 11 assists this season, most from corners.

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Fine stats Rocky. Where do you find them?

  122. GhostFace says:


    The fact that we are on par with Burnley in conceding goals like that is even more depressing

  123. London says:

    new Post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: