Summer Signings – expect to be ‘slightly disappointed’


Since when did telling it like it is make anyone a pessimist?

I expect to be slightly disappointed by our transfer activity this summer for the fifth season in a row, but I am eagerly looking forward to next season, full of the optimism  and 100% behind whichever Arsenal players take to the pitch.

If I had to stake anyone’s house on it, I would guess that by the time the transfer window closes, Cesc will still be an Arsenal player and we will not have signed any players over the £10m mark. If he goes, we may look for another midfielder but I still would not expect us to pay over £20m for a ‘replacement’ (possibly Gourcuff) even if we get £45m for Cesc.

My disappointment will be that it doesn’t look like we will be in the market for another holding midfielder to protect the back four. A player who could either cover for, or play alongside Song. I don’t think Diaby can concentrate for long enough periods to be a reliable DM and Denilson lacks the physical presence. We need a player who will allow our numerous attacking midfielders to play with more freedom, a system that Brazil have executed very effectively in this World Cup.

In the belief that the deals for Koscielny and Schwarzer are in the bag, this is how it currently stands:

Chamakh Campbell Merida
Ebecilio Fabregas Senderos
Koscielny Almunia Gallas
Schwarzer Joe Cole Silvestre
Player ‘X’ Player ‘X’ Eduardo

Forget about labelling anyone as a pessimist – wake up and smell the coffee …this is how it is……

  1. The dynamic of footballer transfers has become polarised by the emergence of billionaires who see owning a football club as a status symbol, and at the other end of the scale, by the growing debt of clubs at all levels. We are not even going to enter into a bidding situation over a player if the likes of citeh, chelski, Real or Barça are interested.
  2. Our Board and manager are ‘prudent’ in the extreme and have formulated a business model for the club that is held up as THE way to run a football club in the 21st century. As is often pointed out on this site, it is a small miracle that we have achieved the level of success we have in terms of league position over the last five years under the financial constraints imposed due to the building of the stadium.
  3. In terms of priority, playing attractive football that entertains and attracts supporters and TV audiences and keeping the club solvent is more important than winning trophies. Arsène has said that qualifying to the Champions League is ‘winning something’ and in terms of revenue to the club that cannot be denied.
  4. The media and internet community are responsible for 99% of the rubbish that is disseminated regarding transfers, but it is also so pervasive that it is virtually impossible for any club to land a ‘surprise big signing’. All of our recent player acquisitions have been flagged up for weeks in advance. The process is often protracted as we negotiate hard to get the player at the best possible price.

Arsène has come out again and said “We will soon sign a player on the defensive front”. Translated that means the deal for Koscielny is already done and we are just sorting out the fine detail. This will allow the club’s PR department maximise the impact and announce the signing before the end of the WC in line with Wenger’s promise.

Unless one of the major shareholders takes the plunge and makes a successful takeover bid and decides to recklessly gamble their own money on buying players, I expect our involvement in the transfer market for the rest of the Wenger era to be pretty much at the level demonstrated this summer. We are not going to pay £30m+ for the likes of David Villa. The so-called ‘warchest’ was club spin to say that we are in a better condition financially this summer and we can spend some money if Arsène chooses – not that we are going to splash out £40m on a high profile player.

I choose to support Arsenal in the knowledge of these limitations and have to reluctantly accept that winning trophies is not our right or even our main priority. If we do win anything next season it will be a huge bonus. If we don’t, we will be entertained by some wonderful football.

On the positive side, I expect Chamakh to be our top scorer, Koscielny to be another ‘Vermaelen’, Ramsey to return and become a great player and Cesc to give us one more quality season. On the negative side, I expect we will suffer more than our fair share of injuries, we will go out of the cup competitions by the quarter final stages and we will still lose points to the likes of Stoke and Blackburn.

That’s not pessimism, it’s realism!

Written by Rasp

96 Responses to Summer Signings – expect to be ‘slightly disappointed’

  1. Tom says:

    Look like what u are mentioning is right especially on the transfer market…. I really really hope they prove us WRONG!!!!

  2. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, quite a realistic view of those “in”, “out” “in the balance” categories” from the mystery poster, I’m guessing it’s Raspers or London ?
    I’m quite glad to see our Tapas waiter is “in the balance” – about the only time he has any connection with balance, he clearly doesn’t when he comes out t o get himself chipped or flaps at corners.

  3. London says:

    Well that was an interesting read.

    Morning all.

    I read that as an optimistic post: Cesc to stay, Chamakh to be top goal scorer, Ramsey to become a first team regular…..why the assumption of pessimism and hence the emphasis on realism?

  4. charybdis1966 says:

    So, not one of yuor posts then London?
    I read the post as balnced and neither optimistic nor pessimistic.
    Except for Mooney possibly going -that would make me smile, almost as mich as if Denilson goes.

  5. London says:

    Morning Chary

    It’s Rasp’s fine post.

  6. Mikey says:

    Patience is a virtue,Arsene has been fine tuning this squad for three years now and i think he’ll most probably get it right this time round.
    Yo right:financial stability n health is better than winning trophies today n tomorrow you sell fabregas to barca coz yo desperate to pay a bank loan.Anyway imagine this:stable finances,great squad assembled on an average budget,a treble season,great academy and….wait for it….breaking in to the Asian market proper!Now that is one heck of a cocktail wouldn’t you say?

  7. London says:

    Hi Rasp

    I have just read the post again: what isn’t quite clear to me is whether you can live with your own scenario or not. I don’t really have a problem with it; I share your concern over the midfield and like you would like to see reinforcements but also like you I can’t see that happening so I think we are left hoping that Diaby or Denilson turn into supermen or Ramsey and Lansbury emerge to run things. But apart from that I think that we are in good shape especially as I expect the issues surrounding the central defence to be addressed.

  8. Gunner3629 says:

    Great article, so many football fans and increasingly with Arsenal fans are being unrealistic and having expectations that are way above where they should be.

    “In terms of priority, playing attractive football that entertains and attracts supporters and TV audiences and keeping the club solvent is more important than winning trophies.” – In an age when cash-rich sugar-daddy’s rule the roost. This idealogy is the way to go.

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning Mikey and welcome,

    I agree with most of your point, I don’t think the ‘fine tuning’ over the last 3 years has made the club progress significantly in relation to the other teams at the top of the prem. This summer we do have the opportunity to do more than the likes of manure and pool.

    A source from the very top of the club has said that there are 4 players that they think are not good enough – answers on a postcard?

  10. GunnerPete says:

    Good sound article again…I hope im correct to dissagree though. I feel that naturally you have based your forecasts on the previous actions at AFC when the stadium debt was at its highest etc. This is why I think we are probably in for a treat this season. If Koscienly is as good as Vermaelen and we sign anothe defender too, and if we are about to start with Swartzer, our whole defensive record should improve .Not that I think he is a world class goalie mind, but he is a competent stop gap while Szcecny is getting games. With Chamahk, RVP, Gibbs and even Theo in as almost new or fresh players we will have our best squad for years. I still hope for an MBIA to add to this lot and IFFFFFF it happens I would put money on us winning the title and a cup.

    So…hopefully our team next season will be….

    Swartzer (Amunia sub)

    Sagna..Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs (Clichy)

    CESC(if gone I would play Arsharvin)

    SUBS: Ramsey when fit…Nasri…Eboue..Djourou..Lansbury..

    I am assuming that Jet, Wilshire, and a couple of others will be on loan. I believe that Arsene must have the guts to sell Denilson, Diaby, and possibly Clichy…add to that the out of contract old men and we are on the move. Sad end though for Rosicky and Dudu..both the result of brutal tackles only allowed on AFC players.

    So…I expect and hope that once again we will be hard to beat and can win games when we are in front.

  11. sleepinggiant234 says:

    You are right to be pessimistic, and I agree that it is not realistic to think our club will show any ambition in the transfer market. But that is down only to the unique cartel of nineteenth century individuals that run it, and is nothing to do with the finaicial reality. And that is the damnable, disgraceful shameful truth about the way our club is run. But it is the tail between your legs, docile way that you write about it, almost as though it is a good thing to want to join the Fulhams of this world of the world that dismays me.

    To deal with you bullet points:-

    1. Yes this is the era of the billionaires, and they have changed the landscape. What a good thing, then, that there is more money in our shareholders than anyone, Chavski included, except for Man City. And yet you, probably correctly, say that we will not enter into deals for top players. HOW CAN YOU JUST ACCEPT THIS?? We are a bigger club, with better stadium, more history AND BAGS MORE MONEY, both through income and in the wealth of our shareholders, than the likes of Chavski. How can you blithely, without complaint, accept that we will stand by and let such comparitive minnows buy players from under our noses, when we need at least 5 more players than them?

    2. Our ‘prudence’ is choice, not necessity, even PHW admitted that. Arsene has done well to keep us competitive during the transition, but our finaicial constraints are now largely in the past. All fans must wake up to this fact – you cannot use yesterdays excuses for todays reality. We WERE broke, we ARE flush. Why can some fans not let go of the dark days of financial constraint – did they enjoy supporting a small club? That is emphatically NOT the Arsenal way. There is so much money at the club that, even with the anachronistic ‘self-sufficienty’ model, we could probably afford to buy two £20 million players without approaching the shareholders for investment. No club is in so strong a position. I repeat, no one.

    3. Your point that qualifying for the champions league is key is absolutely true. Indeed, it is the key to everything. And this is why we must bankroll the team this year. Keep this in mind – Arsenal are so rich, we absolutely cannot get into finaicial difficulties assuming we qualify for the CL every year – THE ONLY WAY WE WILL FAIL TO DO SO IS BY BUYING THE LIKES OF KOSCIELNY INSTEAD OF TOP PLAYERS. We will never, I repeat, never get into difficulty by simply spending money on good players – that is what big clubs do for God’s sake Therefore, the ‘prudence’ you mention in point 2 is not the unambitous, keep your hands in your pocket approach. The only ‘prudent’ financial approach is to buy the top players we need to ensure succes. That way, we will never struggle to qualify for the CL. And, if you think that we have ‘no right’ to be successful, that may be true ,BUT WE HAVE A HELL OF A MORE RIGHT THAN CHELSEA, WHO ARE A FAR SMALLER CLUB WITH FAR LESS MONEY, YET DO YOU THINK IT EVEN CROSSES THEIR MINDS TO BE SO UNAMBITIOUS AS TO CONSIDER FALLING OUT OF THE TOP 4? Your point about attractive football seems to be right – I earnestly hope, however, that it is your take on the CLUBS priority, and not your own opinion. To sacrifice success for good football is a nonsense at best, contemptable at worst. Any football good enough to win a championship is good football.

    4. You are correct – media speculation is the bane of every club. But this is the bottom line. Take the Spanish and Man City out of the equation, Arsenal Have more money than any other club. It is therefore a bigger gamble for anyone else outside of these three to spend money than it is for us. And yet Spuds and Chavski will almost outspend us this summer. Why should we give smaller clubs such a rediculous advantage over us by playing by different, self imposed rules? Out of necessity, we have done so for 5 years, but it is time for our club to take its place at the top table….if we want to, nothing can stop us. It seems to me some fans dont want us to. And, as I have said, forget the doomsayers. Arsenal will never be a Leeds as some would suggest. They only way we will head down that path is by not spending on quallity when we can so easily afford it.

    To finish, I have been supporting this club for over 40 years, through good times and bad. There are often hard times but, what is killing me now is that we sit on the verge of greatness, but the club and more worringly some fans, seen to want to keep us in the dark agees. Im not advocating us spending £200 million – if we can get the likes of Ozil for £5 instead of £20 million I would be delighted. But thats not that way of the world. We need quality players, not Koscielny, Chamakh or Schwarzer. I doubt it would take more than £60 million to give us a damn good chance to win the league – I cant see why you, me, the club or anyone else should have a problem with this given our current position.

  12. Rasp says:

    Morning GunnerPete and thanks for your comment.

    I take your point and hope you are right.

    I think the main thrust of the article was that I don’t expect our activity in the transfer market to be significantly more than in recent years despite having the debt under control now.

    As regards the brutal tackles, thay are as a result of the clever ball possession football we play, lack of protection by referees and the tactics by the likes of the Sam Allardyce.

  13. Rasp says:

    Welcome sleepinggiant,

    Thank you for such a considered and well written comment. Your points would have made a very good follow-up article to toady’s post.

    Often people with similar views to yours are labelled as ‘Johnny come lately’s’ or glory seekers, but to read such points from a supporter of 40 years is sobering.

    You would be most welcome to write an article for the site explaining your position.

  14. jena says:

    As a supporter I care about winning…. I care about what happens on the pitch and not the finances….AS a supporter I dont brag about Arsenal being the richest club, I brag about what they have won on the pitch,Its all that matters…….Finishing number 4 evry season, getting knocked out of the UCL, FA and Carling cup every season is not what I aspire for as a fan…..
    ANd you seem to be forgetting that the success of a club is pretty much linked to success on the pitch. And the longer the current situation persists at Arsenal, the more difficult it will become to make the money. Selling our best players at the end of every season and banking the money is a recipe for disaster. Fans dont buy some of the most expensive tickets in the Epl to watch average players like we currently have. This team has been stagnant for the past 5 seasons. And if Cesc goes, that UCL spot will be out of reach this season. We all saw what happened when Cesc got injured at the end of last season.

    ANd yes, we should not raise our expectations for the coming season….Wenger thinks he knows than everyone. He is gonna sign one Central defender even when we have lost Gallas, Sylvestre, Sendoros and Campbell. He is not gonna sign if we lose Cesc coz yeah Ramsey coming back from injury will be like a new signing and yeah we got Eastmond and Co coming up from the reserves. Almunia will still be our number 1 goalie come 14 August coz “only Wenger knows”, even when he costed us so many point last season.

    One more thing, no one is asking Wenger to compete for players like Villa, Maicon etc etc…..but its apparent we need a goalkeeper, CBs and DMs.

  15. dandan says:

    Hi Rasp. Just the post I was expecting from you and its a magic one, hardly negative Rather it is on the money. At least my house is safe.
    I am more than happy with that scenario with a couple of minor alterations,
    Firstly having watched the world cup drag on how many of those so called top players would you pay more than 10 million for, half a dozen? Fine let the usual suspects fight over those, Then concentrate on the number of fine young players that have emerged from parts of the world we haven’t really touted before. I believe AW with his scouts will find the central midfielder you covet plus the other three. add to this by mid season a few of our Youngsters. Wilshire, Eastmond, Gibbs Etc to produce a new look Arsenal squad still playing the Arsenal way.

    So A new financially viable squad, by the end of the season if they win something Cesc will stay or else AW will keep his word and let him leave and either Jack will be good enough to take his place or a new signing will come in.

    Simples. Happy days

  16. josh says:

    Agree with you that sometimes you just have to “bankroll” for good players in order to
    win! Arsene Wenger can’t just believe that
    the best players Arsenal could find are only
    to be found within the bracket of 10-12m.

  17. terry says:







  18. Rasp says:

    Hi jena and welcome,

    My comment @ 10:19 to sleepinggiant applies equally to you. Thanks for coming on and sharing your view, I empathise with a lot of what you say.

  19. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan,

    I’d like to think that my stance has been consistant on the subject.

    Welcome terry,

    I do think Melo could be the HM we are missing.

  20. dandan says:

    In my opinion Melo would see more red cards per season than Pat did in his whole career in the PL he would be a disaster. He IMHO makes Roy Keane look like a choirboy.

  21. Redytogo says:

    The fact that Wenger bid for Melo last year makes me wonder whether you might yet get your wish. Whether he tries again or goes elsewhere, he’s obviously asked the same question many of us have – what happens if Song gets injured? Let alone the other question, does a team with Fab, Arshavin and Nasri involved need a stronger base?
    I agree that’s a hole needs plugging. My other main concern is shown by your list, with three defenders leaving and only one arriving. Dj coming back from injury ain’t enough, especially when a world class winner in Gallas is departing. We need a senior partner for Vermaelen.
    Giant… I simply don’t know Koscielny and have my questions about Schwarzer, but have no doubt, Chamakh is a quality player.

  22. sleepinggiant234 says:

    Thank you Rasp for the invitation, it is most kind but I don’t feel I have the elequence to actually write an article! My frustation is borne out of supporting Arsenal through the years when you just KNEW that success was out of reach. There are times when you acknowledge that it will take a miracle (the advent of a Liam Brady, George Graham or an Arsene Wenger for example) to reignite the club. At the moment, however, I feel we are just so close to making a breakthrough and all it takes is the sensible investment of the substantial money we now have available (thanks, in no small measure I might add, to the rather large ticketing prices we are now paying). There seems to be some block in the heads of fans and board alike, about taking this step. Why does sensible have to mean ‘spend nothing’?? I say make this summer the one when we take the forward step – we have a manager we all trust to spend the money properly. Worst case scenario is that we fail to make the Top 4 this year, Wenger departs and we employ some clown to succeed him. As a sweetner, any new manager will undoubtedly be given funds so spend – can you imagine the case if someone like Mark Hughes comes in, spends £60 million on garbage and we find ourself without Wenger, without Champions League football and then with much less money. That is why Im campaiging to wake the sleeping giant this year. Everything is in place. WE have a great manager. WE have direct entry into CL groups. We have large, and seemngly increasing revenue streams. We have great young players (Ramsey in particular), but we should’t destroy them by making them carry our season. Get in some quality..not necessarily young players, old players, English Players or French players. Just add four our five top quality players, even if it costs extra. Everything is right for Arsenal to move up a gear. These conditions may not last forever, so at some stage, we need to accpet this is the year and just go for it. We certainly do not want to be left with Schwarzer, Koscielny, Cole and Chamakh as our only statement of intent!!

  23. Rasp says:


    Your second comment proves that you are a very competent writer who puts forward an argument that it is very hard to disagree with on an emotional level. You are welcome on the site anytime and in any capacity.

  24. Rasp says:

    Hi Redytogo and welcome,

    If I had to choose between another CB (assuming Koscielny signs)and a holding midfielder, I would go for the midfielder as Song can play as CB. The majority of Premiership opposition would not require us to play 2 HM’s, but most european games would. It would be a great bonus if Sol stayed for one more season.

  25. gooner1986 says:

    “lost points to stoke & blackburn”

    We took 6 points off stoke last season, and 3 off blackburn (should have been 6), our season was over by that point and we fell apart after leading. took 6 off bolton, 6 off hull, 4 off birmingham, 6 off wolves & fulham.

    teams we dont normally do well against.

    We lost the league due to our results against the top teams.
    Lost 6 points to both man utd and chelsea, and 3 to spurs and 4 to city..??!!!!

    the wigan/blackburn game at end of season – our season was over….think we’d have won them push come to shove.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Some excellent comments today.

    Sleeping Giant – you make a persuasive argument. Sadly, AW doesn’t seem to agree and it is becoming evident that our upper transfer limit is causing the team to suffer.

    That said Arshavin was not cheap, nor was Nasri for a 20 y.o. To spend silly money on an experienced PL CB is not AW’s way. My guess is he enquired about Cahill and Hangerland but refused to meet their valuations.

    We do not know about Koscielny, but taking AW’s previous CB buys, he will be some player. And if we get 10 games out of Nordveldt and Bartley we are covered, even if Sol and WG go. At some time we have to see if they can step up to the first team..

    Your 2 comments above are some of the most erudite words written on this site and believe me, we have some fantastic bloggers.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Gooner1986. Good point.

    Though MU won the PL the season before having only taken 4 points off the top 3, but I agree – to win the PL it is vital to take points from MC, MU, Chavs, L’pool and the Spuds

  28. Rasp says:

    Hi gooner1986,

    The correct phrase was “lose points to the ‘LIKES’ of Stoke and Blackburn”, my point being that we can still be bullied by the ‘physical’ sides.

    You are correct, the year before we dropped more points to the cloggers, last year we had the ‘men against boys’ accusation as we capitulated too easily to chelski and manure.

  29. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Here is an exclusive I have on Wayne Rooneys new digs

  30. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Englands group was without doubt the weakest of the lot. Both England & USA knocked out by Germany & Ghana who were in our group. Australia would have belted England 😆

  31. Rasp says:

    We’re not talking about that this morning gg – although we can discuss the cricket if you’d like 😉

  32. sleepinggiant234 says:

    A big thank you to both Rasp and Bid Raddy for their kind words… its genuinely gratifying as on many other sites I get told to F%”@”@ off and support Man City or Chelsea!! Simply because I want Arsenal to be what they have been for most of their history…the only club in London that ever put it up to the northern giants.

    I hope, Big Raddy, that you are not on the mark regarding the centre half situation. Given that (I think!) both Koscielny and Vermalean are left footed and seemingly physically similar, I’m kind of hoping the newbie will be more a cover player. Using my own logic, I would rather spend £15 million on Cahill (Im not sold on him as a top top class player, but is certainly a good premier league player), or £12 million on Hangeland than £8-10 million quoted for Koscielny, who has only 1 season of top flight football under his belt at nearly 25, and that in the French league. But maybe I’n hoping against hope. Even if Koscielny does become a top player, we are still loosing Campbell, Gallas and Senderos…….and er. Sylvestre. Even with the promise of Bartley, thats a hell of a gap for just 1 new centre half to fill. And I have a dreadful memory of signing a centre half from the French leage who was their reigning player of the year….. Cygan! Please no repeat!!

  33. Simon says:

    I agree with you to a certain extent. I do however believe we’ll also be getting a new goalkeeper. Alot of speculation saying we’re about to get Schwazer. People don’t seem to be very happy with that….but I would still see that as an improvement on what we’ve got. Not the answer…..but an improvement none the less.

    Your pessimism on signings is completely understandable……and comes from the last 5 years of dissapointment. The safest bet is to say we will all be dissapointed again ….and you will probably be right in terms of “star players” but I actually like how Wenger purchase’s in the market.

    I think Koscielny will be a good addition. I trust Wengers judgment on defenders a whole lot more after the success of Vermaelen , and if Koscielny is even half as good then we’ll all be happy. I also believe that Joe Cole will be an Arsenal player (my opinion) and will add experience and a winning mentality. I do think we will need to sign one more defensive player as we could be hit (as usual) by injuries.

    I believe the squad is good enough to win the premier league. We need more luck with injuries and Wenger has to be a little more flexible tactically against the top teams. Outside of that there is not a whole lot missing from this team in my opinion.

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi Simon,

    I have listed Schwarzer in the table as an Arsenal player next season in the post – as you say, he will be an improvement on Almunia.

  35. arsenal4ever says:

    Ebecilio is for the reserves!!!! hope wenger goes for another dm or ozil to replace fabregas. but even if fabregas stays we should buy ozil!!!

  36. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Micky Mouse would be an improvement on what The Arsenal already has between the posts.

  37. js says:

    what a great series of comments, all spectacuarly well thought and written.
    The issue of spending money should not be one. we have a sound financial base with increased revenue throught the stadium against a backdrop of relatively cheap debt which is easily manageable.
    we all want the Arsenal to succeed and to suggest anything else whilst potentially realistic is defeatist. if we are thinking 4th is an achievement, what do the players think? Surely we are not wrong to think we could win something?
    Sleepinggiant says it all in my view. Like him i have been to more than 50% of games home and away since 1982 and all the point made are correct.
    we are so close, a new goalkeeper, CM and DM would have made the difference last year and so we should go for it in these departments and not try to find the next superstars, 10 years before everyone else. i agree that most players are overpriced but we have a skillful manager who should be able to work this out, Mourinho does easily everytime. we are in a position where adding 3 quality players would change everything and give the club a welcome boost following the sales programme we have been following!
    my biggest problem with the way we operate was confirmed by a conversation that was had with senior people at the club. I questioned the lack of quality not quantity in the first team squad. you will see from the last programme we had 50 players in the first tema squad! how much do these guys cost for gods sake. surely we would be better off trimming this down to manageable proportions. afterall no one has really come throught yet except for Gibbs. we want world class coming through not a training ground for everyone outside the top 4, which is wehere most of the payers end up!
    lets slim this down not get rid and utilise the money we tie up in average youth and instead of 20 out of the 50 kids, buy 3 world class proven players. that way we can have a 2 prong strategy as opposed to the one we have now which is …….. sorry can someone explain!!
    i am bored of hearing money arguements look at our wage bill one of the highest but also one of the biggest squads. Paying too much money for ordinary players, clear them out and replace with fewer but bettter quality.
    Denilson, Rosiky, Eduardo were all given 3 year deals last year. total wage outlay c.10m. none of them good enough. Who wouldn’t swap these three for 1 world class player who can truly make a difference. who is making these decisions. i dont believe its about not selling after all we did that last year, perhaps these players dont have any value and so we keep them, what does that say!
    happy to be realistic but want to be a winner alittle money can go along way at arsenal right now we are nearly there. investing in the youth is good but cannot be the only way.
    most importantly if Arsenal are to be treated as a business then you shouldnt take chances. we are a top club that needs top players not potential, we are too big for that and as has been proven with no silverware for 5 years.

  38. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cricket Ras?

    4-1 in February has that old England ring about it.

  39. Rasp says:

    I was thinking Minnie Mouse gg

    a4e, you are correct about Ebecilio. We paid good money for him so it shows the manager believes he will be a first teamer in the future.

  40. Rasp says:

    Morning js and welcome,

    Thank you for adding yet another ‘great comment’ to today’s list.

    I am pleased that the tone of the post flushed you guys out. It is clear that there are a lot of serious sensible supporters believe the club can demonstrate greater ambition in its signings whilst not compromising financial stability.

  41. dandan says:

    Sleeping Giant welcome to our motley crew, you use your words well, do consider a lead article you would be fine, the more we share it around among writer’s the broader a view we give our readers and the better our blog becomes.

    One question how do you define quality, is price in your opinion a sign of quality, if not why cant such players cost under 10 million, given what we have seen in this world cup.

  42. terry says:







    WE HAVE 40M

    15M ON MELO


  43. forza forza says:

    so basically we will win fuck all and drop out the top 4.

  44. Rasp says:

    Welcome Terry,

    Lansbury has been looking more assured and stronger this last season. I don’t think he’s ready for first team action yet, but I will look forward to seeing him at the Barnet game and maybe he’ll change my mind.

  45. Rasp says:

    Hi ff,

    I don’t think anyone has said that (apart from you) or even reached that conclusion as a result of the debate.

    If you’d like to explain your thinking, we may be in a position to understand.

  46. dandan says:

    Rasp perhaps that name shuld be ffs LOL

  47. Rasp says:

    😆 dandan – there’s always one!

    Still it can’t detract from what has been a debate of the highest calibre.

  48. sleepinggiant234 says:

    Dandan, thanks again for your words about my comment. In answer to your query, I hope that I am not giving the impression that I believe that a high price necessarily means high quality per se. It certainly does not. That is whay I said in my first comment that if we could get Ozil for £5 million instead of £20 million then all the better. However, I think it very unlikely in this era of wall to wall media coverage, that many genuine quality players remain unknown (at least in within the European leagues), unless they are just young up-and-comers, in the process of making a name for themselves. Therefore, while price does not equate with quality, I think it almost impossible to get a top quality player without paying for him. It is rediculous to think we can operate in a different market than everyone else.

    If Anyone can come up with someone unknown and make a star of him, I believe Arsene can, but even then, I think times have changed since Arsene made his name with the ‘sensational’ coups of Vieira and Henry. They were largely considered ‘unknown’ signings, certainly in Vieiras case and even the Henry deal was seen as a bit of a coup. And yet, Vieira had already been snapped up by AC Milan when we bought him, and Henry had spent an unhappy season at Juventus. With today’s media coverage, the modern equivalents would by Gorcouff(I know hes starred with Bordeaux since, so perhaps Gorcouff last year would be closer) and Benzema (1 unhappy season with Madrid). And yet, if we are even linked with such players, we hear comments such as ‘Arsenal would never spend on such players’. So players who heretofore would have been considered ‘unknowns’ or ‘coups’, and possible Wenger targets are exhalted as superstars and regarded by those who would like Arsenal to remain on the fringes as ‘out of our league’.

    So, while I can tell you that, in my opinion, Price does not necessarily equate with quality, its more difficult to give an opinion on what is quality. Truth is, like most people, I have my own ideas on who we should sign. I generally dont say to much about them when commenting as, botton line, it is only my opinion. However, as a general starting point, I would always look at a players track record. I genuiunely believe that what a player has done before is the strongest testament of his quality. In this age, if a player has achieved anything in virtually any European league, it will have been noticed, and most of us football nuts will probably know someting about him. You can then go and watch him on telly and add to your opinion of his quality. Only a player who has no such record will realy remain unknown and, for me, if he hasn’t achieved something, then that gives an idea of his quality, or possibly lack of quality.

    Again, you can never truly be sure until the guy has played 2 years for your club. But for me, to buy a guy on the cheap is generally risking buying a guy of less qualilty (not purely for the reason of the price, but for the reasons outlined above). I always say if, for example, Arsene genuinely thinks that Koscielny is better than say, Kjaer, we must all back him, whether we agree or not. If, however, he thinks he is not quite as good, but is a little cheaper, this is the kind of gamble Arsenal now need to distance themselves from. Better have the extra quality on the pitch, and points in the table than a a few quid in the bank and another Cygan or Sylvestre on our hands waiting to give the opposition a goal or two start.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    In Forza we have our very own B.B.K. Perhaps it is the same person or a doppelganger!

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Flying into City Airport this afternoon, and checking the weather forecast it appears as though I will have a warm welcome.

    See you at the hustings…..

  51. dandan says:

    All interesting stuff giant, as long as we don’t buy Upson as so many have said we should.
    When it comes to foreign players Wenger knows his stuff and I have no doubt,that the I want to win something at any price brigade, will get their reward.

    As will the I would rather see good football and stay in the champions league, than win a pot playing crap guys like me. The GG one nil to the Arsenal days cured me of pot hunting, Jesus who wants the Sheffield cup finals again, not I.

  52. sleepinggiant234 says:

    ..Don’t worry, I wouldn’t touch Upson!

    But don’t be too hard on the GG days….I know we were dire for most of the season, but I have to say being the first team to win the cup double against Wednesday was a genuine, real high! Also, from 1987-1992, Arsenal were top scorers in the league 3 times (although that is just from memory). Graham lost it at the end and became obsessed with playing defensive midfielders all across the midfield, but I don’t think anyone would say the thrilling Rocastle, Thomas, MArwood team was boring, ditto the Limpar and Merson inspired 1990-91 team.

    I don’t think we have to worry about regressing to those days….truth is we play good football because the manager believes that it is the way to win football matches, not for its on sake. (To play pretty football for its own sake would be nearly as big a crime as being a long ball team in my opinion). And I hope you ar not classing me as a ‘win at any price’ merchant!!! All I’m saying is that, with the exception of three other teams, we are the best placed team on earth to buy any player that is available, so why shouldn’t we, assuming that manager rates the particular player. Price should be less of an issue for us than anyone bar city, Barcelona and Madrid. I’m not calling for Messi, Ronaldo or the £40-£50 million pound players that will remain the preserve of those three clubs. But equally, lets stop this nonsense about players who are being targeted by the likes of Spuds or Chavski as being beyond our reach. They are not. And anyhow, while I couldn’t call myself as a ‘win at all costs’ man, what the hell is wrong with being desperate for your team to start winning again? That is why we all support the Arsenal after all. We love them when they’re down, but its those winning days and nights that we never, ever forget.

  53. London says:


    Imagine you were the owner of Werder Bremen and Arsenal phoned you with an offer of £30 mil for Mesut Özil what would you do?

    A Accept the offer

    B Ask for more money

    C Phone Man City and say Arsenal have offered 30 million would you care to bid higher?

  54. Rasp says:


    I think the last paragraph of your comment is spot on. We shouldn’t be shy of spending an extra £3-4m on a player if that buys you the difference between ‘good’ and ‘top quality’

  55. sleepinggiant234 says:

    Thanks all for a really intersting session. Restores my faith in football fans (although maybe thats just because I didn’t get slaughtered as usual!). However, I’ve just remembered I have a job to do!!!!

    Bye all

  56. London says:


    To put spuds and chavs in the same financial bracket is wrong and I am sure that you will agree when you think about it again.

    To suggest that we can compete with chavs is equally wrong: they have an owner who has ten times the spending power that we do so there is little point in getting into a bidding battle with him because we will lose. Look no further than Sean Wright Phillips for the best example out there. Or do you think things have changed?

  57. RayB says:

    Great post Rasp, and sleepinggiant234’s replies.
    I beat sg234 in that 2010/11 will be my 54th season as a Gooner & 20th as a season ticket holder.
    My point is that I don’t know the state of the club’s finances and therefore have no idea how much Wenger has to spend. Also don’t forget that each new signing brings with him not only a fee but a salary as well, so I think it’s a very good thing that our club is prudent. The once great Liverpool have imploded under the weight of their debts, ManU fans are wearing green and yellow scarves in protest at the Glasiers turning their club into a selling club because of the debts they have built up. Real Madrid and Barcelona also have massive debts (Barcelona still owe us £12 million from the purchases of Henry and Hleb so I read recently – they can’t afford Cesc unless we drop our price!).
    Our club in a good state financially at the moment and will only get better as time goes on – I’m very optimistic over the future of Arsenal.
    Keep the faith because Arsene knows!

  58. London says:

    The real sleeping giant out there is not Arsenal it is Abramovich’s wallet.

  59. Rasp says:

    Welcome RayB,

    Very good points, I wouldn’t swap our position for any other team in the Premiership and likewise our manager.

  60. Rasp says:

    Thanks for your comments sleepingG, I hope we have the pleasure of your company again.

  61. Dutchgunner says:

    I sure hope we take the cup games a bit more seriously this year and not use them to blood in youth players from the reserve team. I would rather arsenal try and win the FA cup (and possibly succeed) than have another trophyless season. Giving the players a taste of actually winning something could be a very positive influence on their mentality, given a taste of trophies might just increase the desire and drive of players like denilson and diaby who have been accused of lacking it.

  62. dandan says:

    Giant. LOL no I wasn’t hanging tags on anyone but me, I just happen to feel that the insanity of pricing driven by the clubs you mention should not be joined in or emulated by us, let them go their merry way, eventually down the tubes I suspect.

    The day is not far off when we will be the top club financially in the world and they are weighed down by debt. Then will be the time to take our pick. I am happy to wait for that.

    But I understand those who want success now, but i cant equate with or have any truck with the Viv Nicholsons of this world.

    It is that attitude that has put the whole darn country in the sad state it is in now and incidentally many of those newer fans (not you) are in the same position in their private lives and have not a clue that they face the same predicament as clubs that have overspent.

    I fear many birds will come home to roost this year for fans and footballers, as much as clubs. We are at the top off the market and players are there to be picked off as the club debts multiply

  63. kelsey says:

    A fantastic post and some well debated points, so there is not much I can add.

    I have a question for those in the know.As I understand it, cesc has a buy out clause in his contract of 27 or 28 million, is that correct and if it is, can someone explain that to me in terms of the value we place on him, which of course is higher,together with the fact that I believe we are still owed money from barca for hleb and henry.

  64. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all,

    Two players have really stood out for me in this World Cup: One is Bastian Schweinsteiger who sadly I don’t think we’ve a hope in hell of getting but the second is the Ghana DM, Annan – he plays in Norway. He has been very impressive in the middle of the park for them. Whether its just World Cup “good” or he is very good anyway, I don’t know, but he seems to know where to be all the time – in terms of cutting out the ball and in terms of linking play.

  65. js says:

    no no buy out clause. the issue is whether he is able to buy himself out of contract next year for £28m. there is a legal arguement that he cant but this could be tested and cause allsorts of problems a la Bosman. the last thing we want is to be is embroiled in a battle with Fabregas over this, its a no win position.
    i dont now what you guys think of this, but is the Fabregas issue hurting the potential signings of players.
    also as previously suggested to much reliance in a youth policy has effectively made fabregas’ mind up. lets face if we did spend big on one player would it change Cesc’s mind. we are not stupid enough to think he wants to stay,(i am told he confirmed to the manager he will be off pissed off with the lack of quality alongside its that simple, loves the place city the manager but sees huge flaws in the squad, too young not enough winners) not sure its the right tactic but ……
    love him or otherwise its the lack of spending that puts us in this position. losing our best players and then settling for 4th come on we are btter than that.
    by the way barca owe everyone lots !

  66. dandan says:

    He was one of the less than 10 million signings I was referring to Irish, he was all over the park against USA. Good Player. Melo worries me, Brazil had to take him off to stop him being second yellow carded and the commentator spoke of his trail of red and yellow cards in domestic competition.

  67. irishgunner says:

    I don’t like Melo at all, I’d much rather keep Denilson.

  68. dandan says:

    Hugs Irish LOL

  69. 26may1989 says:

    I think the key for us this summer is making sure we sign a new first choice GK (Schwarzer is fine, but I’d prefer Lloris (and yes, I did see his mistake for France)) and two experienced, ready-to-go CBs (my preference would have been Chiellini and Cahill. Having seen Vermaelen work out so well, I’m willing to trust that Kosnielcy will work out. I hope that, as the very good Young Guns website predicted, Nordtveit gets a chance to prove himself next season, but even if Sol stays, I would feel a whole lot better if we got a CB in that we could all trust.

    Good to see sleepinggiant’s comments – I’ve debated some of these points with him/her on Arsenalinsider. I can see there’s some merit in the comments, and I do think we are now ready over the next few years to emerge from our years of restraint to take a much more active role in the transfer market. But I absolutely reject the idea that, just because Spurs, Liverpool or Chelsea have sacrificed security by spending more on fees and wages than they can possibly afford, we should do likewise. We’ll have more money in the coming years than we have had, and we should of course use that, but the club should continue to run itself self-sufficiently. That’s not something to be ashamed of, and it’s absolutely not out of date as sleepinggiant argues; it’s good business and we give up that principle at our peril. The club (like all clubs) should live off what it can generate.

    The interesting thing is, far from self-sufficiency being outmoded, this is precisely the direction European football is heading, with the Platini reforms that will seriously compromise the ability of the likes of Chelsea and Man City to buy success. Having done the hard work, Arsenal are therefore ideally well-placed to grow over the coming years, having a secure base, fantastic physical infrastructure and excellent, balanced finances. I am not saying it will translate into success on the field immediately, or even at all, but I am saying we have now established the foundations for the coming decades – that is what the last few years have been about.

  70. irishgunner says:

    LOL Dandan.

    RvP should have scored….

  71. dandan says:

    Nice post 26may, yes we were happy to chat with a number of good new posters today and if you are one of those welcome.
    I am nearer you than giant but we welcome all views on here as long as they are civil and it would appear that Giant has not always been treated with respect on some sites. Well he is not alone in that, there are a number of folk who have been treated badly elsewhere before making this their home and they are top posters. So other sites losses are our gain.
    Mind you they do have to put up with me LOL

  72. ArseChicago says:

    Hey guys, been reading this site for a few weeks and I dig it. Question, since transfer activity seems to be the topic du jour: Assuming Eduardo leaves on loan or sale, and assuming that Wenger continues to forget that Carlos Vela is an Arsenal player, are we all comfortable with the striker position? I think it’d be irresponsible to assume that RvP can be healthy for 100% of the season, and even though Bendtner went on a good goal-scoring run, I thought our production lacked when we had him playing lone striker. I do think Chamakh will be good, but assuming that Wenger will continue to not use Theo in a more striker’s role, I feel we could use another striker similar to the quality Eduardo was demonstrating pre-injury. Curious to hear thoughts…

  73. irishgunner says:

    ArseChicago – Welcome aboard.

    I’d not be happy if Eddie left and no-one came in. For a number of reasons and all you have mentioned: we can’t be sure RvP will stay fit, and apart from him who will give us a continual feed of goals? Bendtner has grown a lot but is still developing, Vela hasn’t shown the progression needed, Walcott isn’t going to get us 20+ a season and while I think Chamackh will be a good addition, his goal scoring record is suspect.

  74. dandan says:

    Hi Chicago. I suspect Arsene will play Theo more and at times that will be through the middle, I also see young Barazite stepping up from time to time, we have to play our young players when the big boys are injured or resting or they will never prosper. Jay Simpson is on his way so has obviously been ruled not good enough by AW, Barazite has had injuries but impressed whenever he has played.
    Don’T forget little Jack could well be back and needing to play from Jan onwards. I think we will be OK.

  75. Rasp says:

    Hi ArseChicago,

    Apart from the numerous ‘unexpected injuries’, I think we can assume that RvP, Djourou, Diaby and Song will pick up injuries during the season. The latter simply because of the huge workload placed upon him by some of the less defensive midfielders.

  76. Rasp says:

    Hi irish,

    Are you being very well behaved or have you already said ITYS about England? 😕

  77. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – I was very well behaved, I purposely didn’t come on yesterday so ye could talk about the World Cup amongst yourselves, see I can be good 🙂

    But, yes I was gloating to whoever would listen to me how right I was ha ha 😉

    Oh, I won’t be over for the Barnet game, I’m going camping ha ha but I’ll be over for a game before Christmas.

  78. Danish Gooner says:

    If this is what you expect from Arsenal Football Club i suggest you start supporting the Spuds they will undoubtedly live up to your limited expectations.

  79. irishgunner says:

    YAWN… We really need a yawn emoticon.

    “I don’t agree with you so my suggestion is go support another club preferably our hated rivals”

    Is that the best you can do Danish or can you argue a point? We welcome all sides here but you’ll need to do better than that.

  80. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree with you Dandan, no-one should have to put up with abuse just because they have a different view, esp when we all want the same thing, success for Arsenal. Respect is definitely the order of the day.

    Taking internal divisions to extremes, wasn’t it PSG last season that saw different factions of PSG fans fighting each other before a game? If I remember rightly, one of the fans ended up being killed. Not that I think healthy debate here is going to lead us down that path!

    On potential signings, and this is pure speculation, it was interesting to see that Nigel de Jong might become surplus to City’s requirements if they complete the signing of Yaya Toure. Quite why City would spend zillions on signing a player for a position they’ve got so well covered already, I have no idea, but I would love it if we went and put in a cheeky bid for de Jong the day after Toure No 2 signs. De Jong is precisely the sort of player we need to get in, and he could “create” extra CB cover by allowing Song to drop back when the need arises.

  81. irishgunner says:

    26May – The PSG thing you mention is in relation to racial tensions. Immigrants are in one stand and the French in another part.

  82. Rasp says:

    Danish Gooner,

    I haven’t got a clue what you are talking about? – read the post again, slowly, and wait for the penny to drop……

  83. 26may1989 says:

    Irish, is that right? That’s pretty messed up. But then race relations in France aren’t exactly a bed of roses.

  84. dandan says:

    Van P well peed off with being subbed gave the coach an earfull

  85. irishgunner says:

    26May – yep, I read about the whole story in 442 magazine.

    Here is a link:

    If you look up “Boulogne section” and “Auteuil section” of PSG’s ground you’ll find out more.

  86. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for that Irish, interesting reading.

  87. SharkeySure says:

    This is how blogging is supposed to be…

    Opposing views well put, diasgreed with, and subjected to counter argument. Simple

    No cheap jibes at the club, no twisting of every comment, no abuse.

    Well played to all who contribue and a massive thank to you those who got it off the ground and continue to maintain it.

  88. dandan says:

    I put a draft in Peaches.

  89. […] Summer Signings – expect to be ‘slightly disappointed’   Since when did telling it like it is make anyone a pessimist? I expect to be slightly disappointed by our transfer […] […]

  90. London says:

    Morning all

    I can’t see that Dutch defence lasting out against that Brazilian attack.

  91. kelsey says:

    Sorry guys but this made me laugh…….In the jungle, South African jungle Three lions sleep tonight Cos in the morning, the early morning They have to catch a flight A win no way, a win no way A win no way, a win no way 😉

    I agree london.

  92. Rasp says:

    Morning London, kelsey,

    I can’t see many goals being conceded by the Brazillian defence either. They have a rock solid defence with 2 HM’s, a potent attack, every player is physically strong and it looks like there are twice as many Brazillian players on the pitch due to their immense work rate.

  93. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, just found out that another member of my team at work is a Spud – that’s 4 out of 10 ! And worse still he’s at the next desk , so plenty of banter to be had. Somehow the record for “lowest number of games played in a season”came up…can’t think why. 🙂

  94. Rasp says:

    Morning chary 😉

    New post….

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