Winning is a Win/Win Situation

……….. but not at any cost!

I’m sure the supporters of Leeds, Pompey and Newcastle regret their club’s excessive spending in pursuit of trophies, but there is an argument that the powers that be at Arsenal have erred too much on the side of caution in recent years.

The benefits of winning are obvious:

Financial – prize money, increased TV revenue, boost in merchandising sales, more lucrative deals with sponsors.

Psychological – players gain valuable experience, develop a ‘winning mentality’ and are therefore more likely to be winners in the future.

Kudos – raised profile  – the chance of keeping our best players and attracting more world class players to the club is greatly enhanced if they believe they can win trophies.

Let’s just accept for the purpose of debate, that the football club is a business, the supporters are customers and the players are assets/debits on a balance sheet. Emotion, nostalgia and expectation are traits that characterise supporters but have no place in a competitive industry. All the above is true, but what about the old business tenet ‘you have to speculate in order to accumulate’?

Would a larger investment in new players over recent years have proved to be a shrewd business move? We will never know, but what we do know is that respected figures in the game including many ex-Arsenal players have repeatedly said we are only 2 to 3 players short of a winning side. We also know that the official line this summer is that we have money to spend althought the figures mentioned vary between £30-£60m and it is not known whether this takes into account any revenue from players sold.

Mourinho took a calculated risk when he bought 29 year old Diego Milito for an undisclosed but apparently hefty sum. He identified a weakness in his team and bought the best player he could to rectify the situation. He was lucky, the gamble paid off and Inter reaped rich dividends – the treble including the Champions League title.

Arsène has not been so lucky. Injuries and players not living up to expectation have been a feature of recent seasons and it is clear that he has been as disappointed as the ‘fans’ that are calling for his head. I believe he has it within his power this season to make the difference between competing valiantly and winning. The greatest test of his resolve will surely be demonstrated by his actions regarding the goalkeeper.

Should we be grateful for the level of ‘success’ we’ve enjoyed since the building of the stadium? – yes

Could any other manager have kept us in the top four under similar financial constraints? – almost certainly not

Should we just be content to pay our money for a seat at the Emirates and settle for what we’re given – NO

…… intake of breath.

We’re not paid by ‘business Arsenal’, we pay them. We have a right to our opinion as paying customers, whether it be unconditional support or rank scepticism.

Many supporters suspect that if Cesc has decided he wants to leave, the club’s failure to bring in quality players with experience over recent years would be a major factor in that decision.

Success in the transfer market is about judgement, calculated risk, ambition and luck. Arsène must exercise his judgement. The club needs to show greater ambition. Ivan Gazidis should take responsibility for the calculated risk and for once, we need lady luck to smile on us and grant Arsenal a season with just average injury problems.

Ivan Gazidis is the unknown quantity. He is clearly 100% businessman so let’s hope he and Arsène are in agreement that we should take a few calculated risks and bring in the two or three players we need.

Irishgunner put it brilliantly on Monday when she  wrote ‘Wenger is a genius held back by his own stubbornness but in the end, if most coaches were as pragmatic as him, the world of football would be a far better place’

I hope his apparent ‘stubbornness’ was simply a by-product of his pursuit of financial stability and he will spend some of the money the club can now afford to reinforce the spine of the squad. If he doesn’t, even those whose ‘cup runneth over’ with positivity will begin to question his judgement.

118 Responses to Winning is a Win/Win Situation

  1. kelsey says:

    One can’t play for one club and want to play for another and keep your integrity intact. Either Cesc is an Arsenal player or he is not. Maybe he like RVP last season thought we would strengthen with more experienced players, but to me anyway it is fairly obvious that we didn’t,until now have the funds.I am sure Wenger is more frustrated than the really negative posters one sees on various different sites.Maybe Wenger was covering up for the BOD, and maybe he is stubborn, but he has done a wonderful job just to keep us year in and year out in in the top 4.Regardless of the losses against United and Chelsea this season, we were still in with a realistic shout for the title when we lost 3 of our most influential players more or less at the same time.Gallas,Vermaelen and Cesc.I am uncertain as to how next season will pan out, with a possible takeover,Merida having left, Silvestre and Senderos and most probably Gallas all leaving, so for the first time for many a year our whole squad could be dramatically changed.Most of us know the key areas that are our weakness, so by this time next year we will know a lot more.It is very easy to be pessimistic all the time.I am no oracle, but I am willing to debate, but that generally is not possible on so many sites, so at least on here we can have a sensible debate if one is pro Wenger or not. After all, ours are only opinions, as we have a passion for our club.

    Chary Board of directors.

  2. dandan says:

    Nice one Rasp, Yes this is a defining year, for me the GK is the critical signing, young or old I don’t care as long as he can command his area and the back four.
    Our problem of course is that we deal in rumour, innuendo and downright bullshit from our press. This gets to supporters who should know better given the every day proof of complicity they see around them

  3. chippy says:

    Nice post Rasp,
    A little easy on the Board tho 😉

    That would be helped by the club at least making a statement regarding Cesc Future im pretty sure all now beleive he has asked to go which is his right but the Club in my view could have put the ball firmly in Barcas court and let the fanbase know they were going to do the best for the club and at the same time show a spine by saying something along the lines of:

    He can leave for 70 million not a penny less otherwise he stays job done,

    The Board have for to long kept the fanbase in the dark if they had been more open they wouldnt know being seeing such a high level of discontent,

    Dont forget this is a club that States We dont indulge in transfer gossip or rumours and yet have a Rumour site now set up on the official site !!!

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning again chippy,

    In my muddled mind, I think that the blame (if that is the right word) for us not showing more ambition should be shared equally by the Board, Gazidis and AW. For the sake of a measley £10-20m last year or the year before, we may have had something to polish in the cabinet. It would have been a calculated risk, but surely a club of our size would not go under for £20m.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Very fine post Rasp, and very restrained 😉

    Chippy. Is there any club in the PL that open in their dealings? Do you imagine that MU fans are happy that SAF has not used the Ronaldo money when the club are on the verge of free fall?

    Supposition and assumption are the lot of a football fan!

  6. Big Raddy says:


    Surely the point is that AW committed himself to the Youth policy and had to stand by it until it succeeds or fails.

    In the case of Fabianski it failed (so far), but in Song it delivered.

    That is the man

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy,

    Yes I am regretting being so ‘restrained’. Yesterday’s article proved beyond doubt that an aggressive standpoint will stimulate responses.

    Maybe a more blunt message might have been – OK, AW/Board/Gazidis, I’ll allow you your excuses for not getting in quality players in recent years but you’d better bloody spend some money this summer or our worst fears about the club’s motivation and ambition will be proved correct and I’ll mount my own campaign to replace the lot of them!!!!

  8. barry the gooner says:

    sensible comment from everyone more “real” news from the official site or mr gazidis would be welcome without doubt THIS SEASON and the signings/transfers will indicate whether we are ambitious or just content with 3rd or 4th place over to you arsenal board and management.

  9. chippy says:

    Im not asking for the club to come out and say we are trying to buy x or y i understand the reasons for that, But when something as Big and as serious as the Cesc story breaks, when everyman and his dog is having a say on the Barca side of things id Like Arsenal to show the Fanbase a bit of consideration and also show they are not like a puppy having their belly tickled and come out Fightning just to show they wont be pushed around by them Catalan C####, Id say we are one of the worst clubs at PR in the league mind 😉

    Mate totally agree i just think some of the fanbase are taking it out wholly on Wenger but i personally think the others are equally to blame,

    Even if we just spent what we recouped in Transfer fees on new signings id be happy !!!

    Im not having the new contract debate as that pretty much sums up things at the mo with failure being rewarded !!

  10. Rasp says:


    No, the youth policy when viewed as a whole has failed in terms of winning anything and succeeded in keeping us in the top flight on a limited budget.

    I hate this whole ridiculous idea of a ‘youth policy’ other than in terms of finance – as if only Arsenal bring through young players … it’s nonsense

    Like I said above, signing Milito wasn’t part of Inter’s youth policy

  11. charybdis1966 says:

    Cheers Kelsey, for some reason when I see BOD I think of the kid’s TV character.
    Raspers, you can also add to the “kudos” section of the benefits of winning that you gain more supporters, each year we go without a trophy we lose potential fans to the Chavs or Manks. I cringe whenever I see Mank shirts on kids down my way – a full 250 miles from Old Toilet.

  12. Rasp says:

    Welcome barry,

    As you say, we will know definitively by the end of the summer where the club’s priorities lie. As I said in the post, how we address the goalkeeping situation will be a major indication of ‘intent’

  13. gnarleygeorge9 says:



    Arsene Wenger’s youth policy has failed.

  14. chippy says:

    I wouldnt say its been a failure as such due to the fact it pretty much pays its way and we do have some top top English prospects just under the surface, We just needed to get the balance right and unfortunatley we didnt be the neccasary experienced players to help the younger ones along and that is what has doomed it so far,

  15. Rasp says:

    Good point chary,

    As we all know, once you’ve pledged your allegiance to a club it remains for life so we are probably falling behind in the ‘new fan recruitment’ department.

  16. chippy says:

    On a side note Happy St Thomas Day 🙂 What a side that was Now They did have Mental Strentgh !!!!!!!

  17. Franchise says:

    Top Post Rasputin

    I would probably have needed 7 weeks to get those points across

    This is the reason why I leave writing to the writers

    Im too random to put my thoughts into one post. There is a daily post in me but its normally reactionary to someone’s post or comment 😉

  18. dandan says:

    Chippy PR has sod all to do with giving your negotiating position away the club has said through there chairman they hadn’t heard from Barca and they want to keep the player.
    The rest is politicking as per yesterdays post, by Barca and bullshit press coverage, It takes a class act to stay above all that and have your say when the final deal or not is done.
    You are talking rumour until as BR said you see the guy standing with the shirt on
    Had it occurred to you that maybe all this shouting and chest beating is allowing the club to go about there business of strengthening quietly because every one is looking in the wrong direction, distracted by all the BS.
    That’s what I would do, not make heroic statements and letting the press have a clear view

  19. chippy says:

    Hows that giving your position away tho thats telling them you will do business but only on your terms rather than Barcas in a deal that would only benefit you not them,

    All this crap in the papers is playing into Barcas hands and thats why they do it my point is lets put the ball firmly back into their court by giving them a figure and seeing if they are so interested then,

    Put it this way if we did the papers would then be asking them on a daily bases if they were going to put up or shut up,

    One last thing do you honestly beleive a word that comes out of PHWs mouth the man is a buffon you can gurantee he will say one thing in the papers and something will come out within hours totally contradicting what hes just said, Isnt this the man that had a gentlemans agreement with Barca that they wouldnt go after Fab this year they must piss themselves when he gets involved.

    Will also add this sites tops for having a sensible debate with others without the need for a slanging match i could talk to many on here for hours even if i dont agree with their point of view,

  20. charybdis1966 says:

    y say that he think Cesc will stay: “Cesc is the image of Arsenal. I’ll bet that we once again see Cesc in an Arsenal shirt.”
    – no wonder we all still love Bobby, no slagging the club off at every opportunity, unlike some I could mention.
    Makes me sad every time I think of how quickly he was flogged off once he neared 30 years.

  21. dandan says:

    Chippy you are right to cherish the respect this sight allows to all points of view.

    Have to go out now, but will catch up with you later.

    We may have signed a keeper by then LOL

  22. charybdis1966 says:

    Sorry, that comment should have started: “Nice to hear Bobby say that he thinks…..”

  23. Jay says:

    And so it continues. The gutter press have discovered a new way to push the Cesc transfer through. Interview Carlos Vela and then twist every word he utters. Unbelievable! Arsenal FC must now make a stand and demand that FIFA and UEFA act.

  24. SharkeySure says:

    Morning All

    Can I echo Chippys comment about what a great site this is.

    No slanging matches, no attempts at chasing people away, brilliant.

    Much props to all who set it up and those who use it in the spirit in which it was intended

  25. SharkeySure says:

    Oh, and good post Rasp.

  26. chippy says:

    Laters mate and lets hope so !!

  27. Rohan says:

    G’day all!
    Great post….I wish this Cesc saga would end soon. If he is to leave, let him. Arsenal will continue to entertain. We haven’t won anything with him and we can’t do worse than that.
    Here’s to the van Persie era!!!
    I do realize that I sound like Cesc has already left but after his dad’s comments I’m not holding out for much……

  28. Franchise says:

    Sharkey how are you doing? lol you beginning to sound like Arsene

    ….”spirit with which it was intended”

    😀 Nice one

  29. London says:


    Consider this, if aggressive statements such as:

    “He can leave for 70 million not a penny less otherwise he stays job done”

    are made and the Barça deal falls through don’t you think it will be difficult for the club to get the best out of Cesc next season? I do.

    In short, I don’t think you are taking into consideration the effect of such aggressive statements would have on Cesc if the Barça deal falls through and the effect on his wellbeing (playing) at Arsenal next season………but I believe the club is.

    To me Arsenal have conducted themselves in a very classy way so far, taking every angle into consideration and working with the press on a need to know basis.

    “Barcelona have not made an offer” pure class, yet another reason why I am so proud to support THE Arsenal.

  30. SharkeySure says:

    I’m not too bad Fran…

    I’m actually ‘working’ these days as opposed to sitting at a desk with nowt to do. And as for sounding like Arsene I never mentioned ‘mental strength’ did I …ooops. Ps I still use your ‘Typinsons’ tag to describe my affliction !!

  31. SharkeySure says:

    Hey Rohan, good to see you here. I’ve noticed you here once or twice before. Good choice.

    You at Stanford yet…??

  32. London says:


    Top posting.

  33. London says:

    Hi Jay

    I noticed that Vela comment as well, I think it was in the Telegraph…..a paper that should know better.

  34. charybdis1966 says:

    As an aside one has to laugh at Cashley, about to be divorced by soon-to-be Miss Tweedy.

    Serves him right.

  35. chippy says:

    Your probably right i am a bit of a bull in a china shop 🙂

    Id just rather they make a stand at some stage and say enoughs enough whether it upsets Cesc or not.

    Barca have played this game before with us and its always ended in them getting what they want so im just proposing we try something a little different,

    Cescs a clever boy and he will know his transfer fee should in todays market be around 60-70 million and as Arsenals done so much to make him what he is id hope he respects that and trys if he is to stay,

    Anyway be all accounts hes doing an interview later so that should lead to some more snippets !!

  36. Rohan says:

    @Sharkey..nope, I’m off from/done with school now..have the whole summer off…not going to Stanford going to Berkeley instead since they gave me a better financial aid offer. Doesnt’ really make a difference anyway since they’re both half an hour apart from each other….
    How are you doing?

  37. Rohan says:

    I killed the blog didn’t I.

  38. SharkeySure says:

    Nah…its just a nice steady place over here Rohan….its how us old un’s like it !!!

    Best of luck at Berkeley.

    Are we really gonna hear from our esteemed leader today Chippy..??

    I’m not normally a ‘newsnow hound’ and I generally can remain quite calm about all the speculation, but I will be really glad to hear something from the horses mouth today – if it actually happens.

  39. Rohan says:

    If by the horse you mean Cesc, here it is.

    Speaking from his Spain’s training camp, Arsenal star Fabregas reportedly told assembled media:

    “I am only focused on the World Cup, not my future at Arsenal.”

    “It’s up to Arsenal to decide.

    “I’m loved more at Arsenal than I am in my own home.”

    When asked if he was guaranteed to stay at Arsenal next season, Fabregas simply replied:


    Can’t read too much from it though.

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi Rohan,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Don’t worry, you haven’t killed the blog – it’s the daily lunchtime malaise.

    Hard as we try, the conversation reverts back to Cesc and although everyone’s bored with the repetition it’s not going to go away.

    If we do lose Cesc, I would still put the search for a new GK and CB at the top of the list of new players required.

  41. Rohan says:

    If we do lose Cesc, I want one or even two of Gourcuff Ozil Plasil Van der vaart and Ozil.

  42. Rohan says:

    I don’t think Nasri is good enough to take over Cesc’s position on his own YET. Gourcuff and him working in tandem could be magical.
    If there ever was a player who really does remind me of Zidane with his elegance is Gourcuff. We know for a fact that Wenger does rate him. Dunno how willing Bordeaux will be to sell for around 20 million given that we’ve already taken Chamakh from them albeit on a free.

  43. Rasp says:

    Good luck with that ambition Rohan.

    It’s such a shame that Ramsey got injured – he would have been a long term replacement for Cesc but who knows how much his development has been set back. Eden Hazzard is a midfield dynamo fancied by many that might not be too expensive.

  44. Rohan says:

    Eden Hazard isn’t a midfield dynamo. He’s more of a winger or a second striker kind of player. he remembers me of a young Ronaldo with his pace and trickery. God knows we could do with a proper right sided winger especially with Chamakh coming in.
    If Cesc does leave, I do think we need a creative player in midfield coming in. Wilshere and Ramsey aren’t ready yet.

  45. andy says:

    Gr8 post. So true, you have to improve year upon year or you go backwards. For whatever reasons we have allowed the squad to gradually deteriorate over the last 5 or 6 seasons losing players and not replacing them like for like. Instead of introducing 1-2 top players each season we have simply allowed players to go and made-do with whats left. I accept that the financial model seems to have worked and as a business we are looking much better than our rivals but as a team we are sadly lacking. We are now at a point where even the blind can see our failings and they need to be addressed by us or will continue to be capitalised on by our opponents.

  46. SharkeySure says:

    Cheers for those Cesc quotes Rohan.

    The ‘horse’ I was referring to was actually Arsene, but all the same, its the sort of solid info I was after.

  47. chippy says:

    Yep defo the lunchtime break just had a nice bit of pasta, Always tastes better when the suns out lol,

    Cheers for putting that up Rohan,

    I can only say what i think the deal is and that is that he has asked to go but would respect arsenals wishes if he was to stay well id hope thats the deal anyway 🙂

    Alright sharkey,Hope alls well

    Seems Rohan answered your question regards Cesc having an Interview today !!

    Thankfully ill be jetting of to portugal for the start of the world cup so what with that and the last 3 weeks of the competition it should put all this transfer rumour bollocks on the back burner for at least a month and a half 🙂

    Im sure the hacks will make up for it as soon as they need to fill the back pages again tho !!

  48. Rasp says:

    I think if our defence had been more trustworthy, Cesc would have played in a more advanced position. I’d even put the need for someone to play alongside Song as a higher priority than trying to find a player to fill Cesc’s boots. If Nasri, Rosicky, Ramsay, Denilson and Diaby are all below the required standard – why are we holding on to them and bestowing new contracts on so many?

    I think if Cesc leaves we will have to adapt our play. As with Henry, sometimes the focus of play is too concentrated around Cesc. Having said that’ I’d far rather keep him and buy some better players to surround him so he can use his abilities to the fullest.

  49. andy says:

    Couldnt agree more Rasp. In an ideal world Cesc plus GK CD and DM but whether he stays or not the other 3 positions need to be the priority. If Cesc goes and all we do is buy a big name replacement for him it will be yet another disappointing season for sure.

  50. SharkeySure says:


    I bristle a bit when its said that we haven’t replaced like for like, or sometimes its paraphrased as ‘dismantling the Inincibles too quickly’.

    I sincerely believe that the 2004 squad achieved what it did at the absolute peak of its collective power. Practically everyone who (significantly) contributed that season was playing in their prime, n terms of age and/or experience, as well as being a team that had grown & stayed together

    Perhaps only one player has gone on to maintain that level of performance, and whilst I won’t name him, he’s left footed and soon to be divorced.

    As for replacements: How do you replace players of that calibre. Where do you get a new Vieira who has six years of Prem experience..?? Likewise TH14, Bobby, Freddie…not sure why I’m bothering to list these out so I’ll stop there.

    Oops, I’ve done it again…that should have been the basis for a ‘Post’

  51. Big Raddy says:

    I was just going to write that Rasp!

    Should he leave, I believe another DM should be the priority (Flamini? 🙂 ). We have the creative talent and with the arrival of Chamakh which allows RvP to play deeper, we will score goals.

    It is our goals against column that needs addressing.

  52. Rasp says:

    Hi SS,

    There’s still plenty of mileage in exploring that comment if you’d like to submit a post 🙂

  53. Big Raddy says:

    SS. Get writing …..

  54. dandan says:

    You wanna change the subject for a while, OK do you remember this, where were you 21 years ago tonight, Michael Thomas, scored a goal at Anfield in extra time you might remember.

  55. andy says:

    To be honest i’m not talking about that far back, That team was exceptional and you are right that to find exact copies of them wont happen. I’m referring more to the more recent failings Flamini, Gilberto Toure, Adebayor(i know it pains me aswell). I dont mean that we should have a team full of stars but even players who are perhaps past their best should still have been replaced with younger better versions.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    A possibility……

    should the unthinkable happen – we could sign a Milner type player to replace Theo. A more defense mined right side attacker.

    Theo is no hatchet man though he does track back.

    Of course, Eboue could fill that role but he just isn’t good enough. Plenty of energy but no end product.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    DD. I meant to write a post about it. My story is long winded…..

  58. dandan says:

    Go for it Raddy.

  59. andy says:

    16 years old watching it on tv with my brother. I remember the commentator saying somthing stupid like at least Arsenal got a win on the night even if Liverpool were going to win the league and then…Oh brilliant stuff. Scousers crying everywhere…superb

  60. dandan says:

    MY youngest son locked in the toilet in tears, refusing to come out till I went down the Pub, even though he knew I never went down the pub. LOL

  61. SharkeySure says:

    22 years old, at a mates house, willing them on, still believing, nearly having aheart attack waiting for Mickey T to pull the trigger.

    Even when I watch it now I still scream at him to pull the trigger earlier.

    Fair do’s Andy re your response on replacements. There’s no disputing that some (serious?) mistakes have been made.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Suffice to say I was in Hampstead and then outside the ground.

    Oh Sod it, I will write it as a post and we can put it up on a quiet day in summer. It is an entertaining tale.

  63. dandan says:

    Rasp I think I hate you and your mates, her indoors just dragged me down the garden centre for a half an hour and it cost me £26 for one bloody plant, Yesterday was £30, con men all of you LOL

  64. charybdis1966 says:

    I was 22 also S Sure that evening 21 years ago – crikey, nearly half a lifetime ago. BTW I have to declare I’m not in favour of Hazard coming in, partly because we have more pressing deficiencies to be addressed elsewhere and also because he is yet another frail, technically fancy midget midfielder, of which we already have a surfeit.
    I imagine one hefty shoulder barge from the likes of Shawcross and Ridgewell and he’ll collapse into a heap of fractured limbs and mangled ligaments.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Don’t start on expensive . The prices here are insane. The supermarket had a “special” on a tub of Ben & Jerry icecream. Down from €9 to €6.50!!

    Bread cost around €5, coffee at least €4 a cup, and the price of petrol ….. €1.60 a litre!!

    Beer €7 + a pint……

    It is coming your way what with the UK’s economic problems, the fall in the Pound and the increasing cost of imports.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Damn, I come on here to get away from that sort of rubbish…. sort it out BR……

    where was I ?

    Oh yes, the DM. I would go for another Frenchie. Flamini, Toulalan, Or the Brazilian Melo to keep Denilson happy

  67. kelsey says:


    good article but this line

    “Should we just be content to pay our money for a seat at the Emirates and settle for what we’re given – NO”

    I can’t agree with that.

    Yes, I don’t go to games any more, and yes I know the paying fan pays more than anywhere else, but it doesn’t equate to the demands that for that reason the team should win silverware.

    With regards to Fabianski, less than a year ago he was being hailed as the best we were going to see for a long time,based on his reserve play.Maybe with almunia “hurting his hand” Fab’s time was too early, and the howlers at Porto mentally screwed him up,at least for now. it is only an assumption on my part.

  68. London says:

    I really cannot see our DM dream coming true, he will stick with Diaby, we better hope he has a good WC in that position becasue a big chunk of our next season is going to be riding on his shoulders.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    I definitel see Fabianski as a part of the Arsenal squad for the next few seasons.

    The very low point of the season for me was the ironic cheering of Fabianski in the final home game. It typified what is wrong with the Emirates.

    How on earth did those “fans” think it would help their own player? We have an investment in making Fabianski the best player he can become, if he regains confidence and shows us what AW sees in him, then we have solved our back-up GK problem.

    I accept that fans have the right to complain, and London pointed out that the jeering was “good natured”, but that was not my impression nor was it the impression of many pundits.

    Every fan wants the best for their club (though having argued with some over there, that may not be true). Perhaps they should think about how they can help achieve this

  70. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t agree London. AW has stated that he needs to look at the defence. Playing Diaby as a DM has never worked which AW must surely know.

    Perhaps he will pin his hopes upon an improvement in Denilson’s physical presence and the recovery of Ramsey.

    But one never knows…..

  71. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey,

    Shame on you – quoting me out of context – you’re as bad as the tabloids creating stories out of nothing over Cesc 😆

    I didn’t say that it means we can demand silverware – I had already stated that we are treated like customers and so we can behave like customers; the follow-up wording was ….. “We have a right to our opinion as paying customers, whether it be unconditional support or rank scepticism.” – not that it gives us a right to demand silverware.

  72. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all – nice post Rasp.

    What annoys me most is that we are ALWAYS on the verge. We’ve never been poor under Wenger – one way or another over the last few seasons we’ve challenged in some form for a trophy be it the Champions League, the EPL, the Carling Cup or the FA Cup (although not all in the same season) but never won any of them.

    Why? Because we are that little bit short. We have to respect that Wenger has kept us relatively competitive while building the stadium but have to question why can’t we go that little bit further to actually win something.

    Maybe if we were further away it might be easier because you could say “Well, Wenger is past it, his ideas have run out” etc.etc. but for me he is still more than capable of leading us to glory and the question is not “Can he do it?” but “Why isn’t he doing it?” – money? stubbornness?

    I don’t think its Wenger’s limitations as a coach that is stopping us, its either the board or him as a club manager. Personally, I think Wenger likes his legacies and leaving a big one behind him at Arsenal so the thoughts that he would scupper that for the sake of not spending a few bob more a year doesn’t wash with me.

    If, and it seems likely, Platini’s new financial rules come in, are we not already ahead of the pack?

    I read a very interesting article in a magazine lately about a report UEFA did on the state of England football clubs’ financial status and the only “big” club that they held in high regard was Arsenal because while we were in debt, it is for the sake of the club’s future and the club has a plan. Everyone else was about the here and now – something to think about.

  73. kelsey says:


    soorry I didn’t read it properly.Too much on my mind, and the fecking internet keeps crashinf, hi irish 😉

  74. kelsey says:

    Oh can someone enlighten me about Sol, as I haven’t been able to read any quotes except there may be a problem with him staying, or have i got that wrong as well.

  75. Rasp says:

    Hi Irish,

    Everything you say is correct. To expand on your initial point, we could have risked an extra £20m or so in recent years to try to ‘push us over the verge’ and realise our full potential without putting the club into financial ruin.

    This year the club have virtually told us by implication that if we don’t spend the money available it will either be because Arsène doesn’t want to or we fail to get the players he wants.

  76. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon Kelsey 8)

    We could have Rasp but maybe and probably the the boss/board weren’t willing even to risk that little (in football parlance).

    Personally I think the money wasted on Jeffers and Wright has scared them for life 😆

  77. Irishgunner says:

    Not that we’re bitter mind 😉 but Ireland’s current favourite poster:

    Click to access dont-be-a-coq.pdf

  78. Rasp says:

    No worries kelsey 😉

    I think the story about Sol is journo mischief. He has been asked questions about Celtic and has praised the club in a professional manner = in the eyes of a journalist, can be construed that he wants to go there. I’d be very surprised if he chose Celtic over Arsenal even if they offered him a 2 year contract as opposed to one with us.

  79. Rasp says:

    If a club our size doesn’t have the assets and acumen to fund £20m, in search of a much higher return, we are in trouble.

  80. Irishgunner says:

    I think Sol wants to stay with us first and foremost but on the off chance it goes belly-up he’ll not want to burn any bridges.

  81. irishgunner says:

    Have ye seen Cesc comments on his chat with Wenger? He seems happy with their conversation and that his future lies with Wenger – does that mean Wenger has told him of all the wonderful players he’s about to buy?? It does in my mind :mrgreen:

  82. Rasp says:

    Some blogs are interpretting Cesc’s words in exactly the opposite way irish 🙄

  83. London says:

    ‘you have to speculate in order to accumulate’

    This is true but you have to be a brave man to want to speculate while the biggest stock market crash in seventy years is going on, not to mention a banking system teetering on the edge of global meltdown.

    This brings me to the idea of why the board did the u-turn they did on Koneke? Some people think the purpose was to use him as a shield against Usmanov and there may be some truth in that but I believe the board tried to get him involved as quick as they did to act as insurance policy against the whole club going under.

    This may seem a bit sensational, but any well run business has to ask the questions what if.

    What if the people who have paid their deposits on Highbury Square are not able to get a mortgage? This happened in large numbers.

    What if we are unable to make our construction payments because of that?

    What if we are unable to service the debt of the stadium?

    With a banking system having closed down; that’s to say, they were not lending to anyone, these were very real concerns.

    So what do you do? Find someone with a lot of money……….just in case — enter Koneke.

    I doubt that the club had to ask for a loan from Koneke but he was a very useful piece of insurance at the time.

    And while all this is going on we hear: Cesc said he would like to play with David Villa and if the club had any real ambition they would have signed him………… 12 year old has a better understanding of economics.

  84. irishgunner says:

    Well I’m always rather optimistic about these things Rasp 😀

  85. London says:

    So am I, Irish.

  86. Well why didn’t he tell his dad then 😦

  87. irishgunner says:

    His Dad should just shut up!! Pity da fool 8)

  88. We’ve only got about 3 months to worry about it haven’t we …………..

    Jose has almost been appointed Real Madrid coach so at least we won’t be hearing that AW is thinking about that one again 😆

  89. kelsey says:

    This sentence could be a post in itself.

    Why has Merida left, Sol is considering his options, Cesc is leaving it up to Wenger(however you interpret that)and Gallas hasn’t agreed a contract suitable to both parties”

    What is happening at the club to warrant all these statements ?

  90. London says:

    “Cesc leaving is up to Wenger” this is a PR exercise made in heaven for the club.

    Can you imagine after the world cup that the club announce that because we are fortunate to have Arsene Wenger, Cesc has decided to stay and what’s more he has extended his contract.

    I am a bit confused about his Dad though, he must have played such a decisive roll in the decision for him to come here in the first place and so for him to allegedly say he wants to return is the biggest worry so far.

    If there is one person I want to come out and say something it is his Dad, please Señor Fabregas just say that you have been mis quoted and we can go into party mode.

  91. Big Raddy says:

    There seemed to be a different slant on Cesc’s Dad’s words on the Spanish sites.

    They infer that Fab Snr was saying it was up to his boy. And as his boy is saying it is up to AW, I would assume as others have, that AW has promised signings and discussed with Cesc who they will be.

  92. London says:

    Hi BR

    That is good news, it makes sense that Fab senior would say it is up to his son. It is even better that Fab junior says it is up to Wenger, as for the idea that Fab junior discussed signings with Wenger this strikes me as being absolute tosh. Still two out of three is not bad. Can you remember when he first arrived and the kind of passes he used to make? Me and Chaf used to watch and make so much noise Meg Ryan would have been embarrassed. Damn, I hope he stays.

  93. London says:


    Have you seen the comment on LG by QoS at 10:08? Very funny.

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Not yet London. I don’t go there anymore because I get so angry!!

    Sad because I was among the founder members.

  95. London says:

    You were indeed BR.

    A different time.

  96. Big Raddy says:

    My supposition is based upon Cesc saying it was the best conversation he had ever had, which I took to mean that AW included him in his plans. And that would involve being open about AW’s plans for the future.

  97. London says:

    Did you ever comment on Lower East before LG?

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Rarely. I was on a website set up by Tommy Gooner.

  99. London says:

    It sounds like you are ahead of me, I wasn’t aware that Cesc had released so much information. Do you have a link?

  100. dandan says:

    RVP scored twice against Mexico tonight

  101. Big Raddy says:

    From the BBC website

  102. London says:

    Hi DD

    Damn, was that on telly?

  103. dandan says:

    no dont think so, are still playing I believe, Raddy will bring back your youth am sitting here listening to Sandy Denning and Fairport

  104. London says:

    The Arsenal captain said: “It was probably the greatest conversation I have had with someone in my life.

    This is good stuff.

  105. dandan says:

    Was this with AW London

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Fine comment from QoS.

    Good to see RvP get his shooting boots on. Let’s hope he can stay injury free until next summer !

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Sandy Denny DD.

    I am listening to early Rolling Stones, the Blues years when Jagger showed the world that he was a black man in a white body.

    Bizarre to think they are No.1 in the charts with a 30 year old album. A sad indictment of modern music.

  108. dandan says:

    Those were the days my friend LOL…. Just watched that interview BR in my opinion the integrity of both Cesc and Wenger shone through, If only same could be said of some bloggers and media people, still I suppose we get what we deseve we finance them

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Sadly, the interest in football from all over the world results in the need for copy, and truth goes out the window.

    It must be so tedious for the players to be surrounded by these guys. Gone are the days when the journo’s travelled with the teams and became friends with them. No more Hunter Davies etc.

  110. Big Raddy says:


  111. charybdis1966 says:

    Has anyone noticed that when he answered that question about where he’d be next season the hack said “Can you guarantee where you’ll be..” and Cesc started to reply with “No” but then the hack finished his question with “..with Arsenal?” which of course the hacks interpreted as meaning he would not be at Arsenal.
    I thought maybe Cesc was answering the “Can you guarantee where you’ll be next season?” question when he replied no.

  112. dandan says:

    Morning early risers, interesting to see 73% of Arsenal fans are happy with Wenger in today’s times survey of premier clubs. How does the 27% not happy tranche equate with the number who have joined since those early pot winning Wenger years I wonder

  113. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Nice to see RvP has his scoring boots on! I wonder how the presence of Chamakh will spur his competitive spirit for the Arsenal.

  114. charybdis1966 says:

    Hello Raspers, I think the Boy Wonder always gives his all but Chamakh-ya-bitch-up would probably be helpful as a motivator for Arshavin or maybe even Barcelona loving Bendy.
    I also wonder how the 27% of dissatisfied Goons compares to ,say, 3 years ago Danadan.

  115. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    So now that the Little Fella is staying, we need a goalie & CB & its sweet 🙂

  116. charybdis1966 says:

    If all those 3 things come to pass Gnarley I’ll be as happy as a porker in the brown stuff!

  117. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  118. Big Raddy says:

    lol Chary

    Me too

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