ARSENAL …. behind every great team…….

Written by dandan

Football is no longer a team game, nor in many ways is it just a squad game either, unless we are prepared to accept that all the behind the scenes experts that drive the club are squad members.

The fact is that the sports psychologist, dietician, statistician, lawyers and fitness coaches are as important to a top club and its manager as the players that wear the shirt on the pitch or warm the bench.

Many fans of course never see these guys or understand the dynamic that surrounds the word team. A new centre forward or giant goalie being far more important in the fans eyes, than the faceless entities who provide the information that any manager needs to successfully integrate the diverse individuals that are the players.

We are all aware of the clichés, like, “a successful team is more than the sum total of its parts”:  Indeed it is because its reinforced by the collective expertise of the management team that runs the playing side of the club

Or, there is no ‘I’ in team, supposedly meaning that individuals have to conform to integrate, really?  But then there is an M and an E in team and how different to ‘I’ is ‘ME’?  Not a lot, it would suggest.

So Arsène the manager is also a team leader and a squad player, he cannot be seen to be one of the boys, but at the same time must not be so remote that he is unable to give some fatherly advice, an arm round the shoulder, or a bollocking when required. The man you see on the touchline or in front of the Sky post match cameras is just the tip of the iceberg, a professional protecting his players from the Richard Keys of this world, headline grabbing, attention seeking junkies of little talent or worth. No wonder on occasions the façade slips and reveals a little more than we are used to seeing. Of course should this happen he is immediately accused by these same nonentities of being stressed or wilting under the pressure.

It is no accident that when a manager moves he often takes these backroom boys with him, for they are as important a part of his management style as the personal skills he has honed over the years. Without them and the technical support they provide the modern manager could not operate.

So when we see players being rotated it may have nothing to do with last week’s performance or the team we are meeting. But more with the scientific information supplied by the backroom boys pointing out the necessity of such a move and the benefits to club and player.

We at Arsenal have the added benefit of having a man to control all this who is a genius at team building with a talent for picking the right staff.  If you doubt this, look how often you read how national and international teams love to poach our staff, from the grounds man to the Physiotherapist

So next time you see the Emirates on TV or are lucky enough to visit, spare a moment to look around and marvel at the ambition, bloody mindedness, determination and superb management skills of Arsène Wenger the man who has made it all possible.

And maybe, just maybe you pot hunters who have no interest in the complex technicalities of running so great a club and see everything in simplistic red and white terms, will also have a new one to gloat over this year as well.

74 Responses to ARSENAL …. behind every great team…….

  1. Graham from London says:

    Thats all well and good, but what he was initially brilliant at was solely building & coaching a team of winners. He has since immersed himself in other responsibilities which have checked his natural instincts to the point where clearly cannot coach the team to the level he should be doing it at. BTW The Emirates would have been built with or without Wenger being around. It’s clearly a shrine to Wenger in your eyes to me it’s a souless place, however grandiose, with no character & no trophes either. Perfectly made in his image and I have a box there……it ain’t no Highbury my friend

  2. Rasp says:

    Hi Graham,

    As a new stadium, it will take time for the Emirates to become less ‘soulless’ … great victories eventually imprint themselves on your memory and become part of the aura of the stadium. You are correct that the great games we’ve played their have been negated by some disappointing results, but as a club moving forward we had to build the stadium or be relegated to the second flight of english football.

    Having done the stadium tour recently, I can see that it does reflect Wenger’s vision and it is clearly a huge asset to the club. I don’t know if winning the Carling Cup this season will be enough for you or others, but a famous victory over Barcelona or defeat for the chavs at the Emirates will begin to build the bond between the fans and the stadium I would hope.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dandan, Great post.
    Going out, so back to comment later, but could you clarify one thing… “Pot Hunters”?

  4. joshua says:

    Sorry Graham but there’s no way Arsenal could have built that stadium if we’d spent a normal amount for a top four club on transfers and wages! No way. Wenger is absolutely a huge part of why the project happened… Do you know that David Dein opposed the building of the stadium on the grounds that we couldn’t stay competitive if we spent all that money? Wenger has worked miracles in last 5 years, that some fans don’t know it is neither here nor there.

  5. joshua says:

    Top post dandan…

    The problem is that some of us take all that has happened at the club in the last 14 years or so for granted… and we concentrate on the lows and nit pick at scab of every defeat instead of stepping back and seeing the whole picture. Not everything is perfect and I doubt that there’ll ever be a time when everything is perfect at Arsenal but we have made progress every year, given the financial restrictions, on the playing side except for the year we lost both Flamini and Hleb. And our progress in other areas have been simply immense because of the stadium. The manager has worked miracles in exceptionally difficult circumstances although to read the abuse he gets on some web sites is to wonder at the basic intelligence of my fellow fans…

    Now that things have settled down and we can spending a bit more and with the Youth system producing some real quality players to come into the squad and team in the next few years (Afobe, Aneke, JET, Frimpong, etc) those fans spitting venom now are going to have to eat an awful lot of humble pie.

  6. Smith14 says:

    Good post dandan.

    The fact is that stadium had to be built to secure our long term future. The other thing to remember is that the money spent on the stadium was borrowed for the exact purpose of building the stadium, it’s not money we would otherwise have had to spend on players. Had we not moved we’d have been restricted by the revenue we could get from Highbury which, in the billionaire era, wouldn’t have been enough for us to compete either.

    We now have an infrastructure that means we can grow in the long term. The problem is, we are stuck in a moment of limited success so some people can’t see beyond that. I’m certain this will all come good sooner rather than later. Wenger’s legacy to this club is about far more than trophies.

    Also, the idea that the stadium is souless is a bit unfair. It’s very young, like the team, and is in the process of building a history and a presence. Arsenal Football Club will be around for many many years to come, it’s important not to get too bogged down in the here and now.

  7. mark paul hooker says:

    great post and another vital cog in that machine is us
    i,m not saying that healthy criticism is,nt a good thing but some of the doom and gloom after a setback is ridiculuos and unhelpfull in the extreme
    as for highbury..loved it but our champions league games at wembley taught me that we had outgrown it
    the soul at the emirates? we are it
    highbury had no history in our 1st 17 years till we won the fa cup
    we created it as we will again
    we have an emirates victory over chelsea in 2007 when all our players had a good game including almunia who had a very good game
    onwards and upwards boys and girls

  8. Rasp says:

    Welcome mph, great comment.

  9. big Lebowski says:

    I have supported this team for nearly 55 years I was born to it, If these Johnny come lately’s only want pots I suggest they go somewhere else, I waited 14 years to see my first trophy. I would sooner have my club that has tradition, class & run on good business principles than any club that runs up large debt to get trophy’s

  10. Smith14 says:


    Absolutely spot on. Cheers.

  11. London says:

    Great post Dandan

    A very enjoyable read.

  12. London says:


    I’m curious about something: how much does a box cost per year and how many years do you have to commit to?

  13. Big Raddy says:

    London. You must have had a good year 🙂

    Great post DD and reflective of how I feel about AW and the current Arsenal set-up. We are blessed to have had the right manager at the right time. Can you imagine the disaster that would have been GG through the PL expansion, the stadium move and the economic downturn.

    Cometh the time, Cometh the man!

    Further to this – watch the BBC interview with Dennis Wise, a man whom Newcastle believed could move them to the “next level”. I wouldn’t trust him to run a whelk stall let alone a multi-million pound business. For all our Boards stringency, they have avoided taking punts on fools gold like Wise and brought in experts at every level which has resulted in us having the best run (off-field) club in World football.

  14. London says:

    Wouldn’t trust Wise to run a whelk stall…hilarous and so so true.

    Hi BR

    Not a good year, far from it, but I was curious as to how much those things cost.

  15. Red Arse says:

    Good Post, Dan Dan.

    I agree with all the usual culprits on here, Arsene has been and will be brilliant for our great club. 🙂

    Graham has expressed an opinion which runs contrary to the majority view, including mine, and he seems a bit down. But perhaps that is influenced by spending a great deal of money on a box and that’s fair enough.

    I find the differing views you see on the blogs is part of the fascination of this media, and long may it continue. 🙂

  16. Red Arse says:

    BR, I have occasioned across Wise, from time to time, in my local Supermarket.

    It always tickles me that he keeps drawing himself up to his full height and bashes his head on my waistbelt.

    I have asked him to stop it! 🙂

  17. Graham from London says:

    Hi London,

    For the fear of misleading those who think I am stinking rich, I am not. I frequent the box on behalf of my company. There is no way on this earth I would pay £60 to £100 to watch them at the moment. Most those who own boxes, are NOT Arsenal fans. Most of the inhabitants support the Opposition as guests more often than not. Apathy is the name of the game up there but that will come as no suprise to any of you. I am just lucky enough to be a regular attendee after years of standing on the Top Side since 1987 watching more passion,commitment & organisation than what I see now. Most of that core support are now financially frozen out and that would include me as well. Without them there is no atmosphere. Its a whole new set of fans who have joined post Wenger which is great for the club financially.

  18. RockyLives says:

    Great write-up DD. And you have elicited some brilliant comments from new visitors as well (take a bow Joshua, MPH and others…)

    How some people underestimate AW’s achievement in keeping us competitive during the stadium build is beyond me. No other manager in world football could have done it.

  19. Neamman says:

    GREAT post DD.
    Lebowski..welcome to the oldfarts section of the board!!

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I read the post earlier, then had to clear off. It gave me time to think, and I realized what a thought provoking post it is. As Rocky pointed out, you have unearthed some new bloggers that bring yet more intelligent debate. Great work.

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have always imagined that AW had a vision of building a footballing dynasty in the style of the great Ajax team. Total football bred from the grassroots upwards. In recent years I believe he has been a great admirer of Barcelona. Perhaps what some of the “pot hunters” forget, is that while Barca were developing their youth policy, they underwent their own barren spell. Five trophyless years, I believe.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Graham has a point about the cost of entry to the Emirates. As a percentage of an average weekly take home pay packet (UK), it is inordinately expensive. But the only way to change that is for the fans not too attend and make a stand with their absence. It hasn’t worked at MU, and I fear nothing will change at THOF.

    Trying to buy a ticket for friends going to England has become a nightmare, we are reduced to buying exorbitant tickets from touts (over €200 for the MC game!!), and whilst that remains the case the club have no need to reduce prices

  23. SharkeySure says:

    Wonderful wonderful post DanDan.

    We really are on the outside looking in as fans aren’t we..?? BUt that was also the case when we were winning doubles and going a season unbeaten.

  24. SharkeySure says:

    Whelks…lol !!

  25. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed re ticket prices being pretty high, but if you look around for empty seats then you really don’t see too many, and a lot of those will be ‘sold seats’ where the attendee has failed to show for whatever reason.

    Are the prices really that different from Highbury to the Emirates..?? Not so in my limited experience

  26. Sid says:

    Great post. Very optimistic. Makes a change from a lot of the negative press that has surrounded Arsenal FC for the past 2 or 3 years. I remember reading that the clincher for Wenger staying at the turn of the century was that the board backed him by building the stadium. It was his vision or he joined Bayern or Madrid. Something like that… The boards at teams like Liverpool, Everton and even Chelsea would love to be have a new stadium taking millions of pounds every match day, not to say the extra revenue of hosting other big events etc. The big teams on the continent have always had super stadiums. Madrid, Barca, Bayern, Ajax and Milan to name but a few. These teams are stalwarts of Europe, something I could only imagine Arsenal being when I started supporting them after the 1990 world cup (I was 10). This is what Wenger has done to the club, transformed it. I think for the better. And Graham may have a point about the ‘real’ fans being frozen out, but you could make this case for the whole of the Prem, not just Arsenal.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good point about the cost BR. To my mind the Emirates lacks character rather than soul. Character is part of the physical structure. Apart from the horrendous distance between the fans and the pitch, the stands are way too shallow in elevation, however my real beef was always along the lines of BR’s point about percentage of wages for some fans. I always felt the area behind the North Bank should be allocated to local residents at a greatly reduced rate (although I have not thought through the practicalities yet).

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Sid. You raise a good point. When we were an average side and creeped into the UEFA Cup I could never imagine Arsenal would become one of the powerhouses of European football.

    I thank my lucky stars and my Guardian Angel that I chose the Arsenal and not that mob down the road as both grounds equidistant.

    The sad fact is that AFC is the most expensive ticket in the PL, almost double MU and way more than MC & L’pool.

  29. SharkeySure says:

    Alright Mickey.

    I grew up by the Oval cricket ground, and I know that currently, residents are granted vouchers for cheap tickets. You wanna know what they do with those vouchers ?? They mostly sell them to touts.

    Its just supply and demand. Prices rise until you start to be left with unsold seats. Those cheap seats are ‘underpriced’ because there is someone willing to pay more for them.

    Likewse seaon ticket holders with a ticket for Paris in 2006, were faced with a choice of seeing the game along with associated travel costs, or selling the ticket on and paying for next years ST with the proceeds. C’est la vie

  30. SharkeySure says:

    Radders, rrescpectfuly, I wouldn’t isolate footie ticket prices. Throw in the general cost of living, house prices, home rentals…on nearly all of those counts London is very very expensive.

    The comparison should possibly be to other ‘successful’ London clubs. I was tempted to say popular or well supported, cos clearly the level of demand is very varied.

    Note Chelsea’s 20k gate for a CL tie a few years ago, it was in the same week that we had 60k in for a CC tie.

  31. dandan says:

    Afternoon and thanks for all your generous compliments.
    As an old fan one tends to have a different mindset re the team we love, not quite “I have seen it all before”, but rather “hell if they think this is bad they should have been around when so and so happened” which is rather where big Lebowski is coming from.

    Success is relative and is judged by different people in different ways and to us oldens, boring as we are, the sheer grandiose of that super stadium and the lovely football that so often graces it, is for the most part reward enough.
    For us that stood in the rain and watched the pre- Fairs Cup Arsenal for all those years and the mind numbing dullness of GG’s one nil to the arsenal days. Wenger is indeed a messiah and the solvent proud club he manages with such distinction is for us a dream come true.

    Which is MD89 what separates us from the pot hunters, who sadly see a trophy complete with bragging rights as the only measurement that matters

    Can I also add my welcome to the new posters and say stick around you may well get to enjoy yourselves.

  32. Red Arse says:


    In case you have not seen it, TV is out for another month (at least). Shades of Rosicky! 😦

  33. dandan says:

    RA listen to the Arsene must buy in Jan, Rise to a crescendo from tomorrow on then.

  34. SharkeySure says:

    I wasn’t convinced when TV returned to training, and I’m not normally a pessimist.

    I pray that it sorts itself out soon !

  35. dandan says:

    Sharkey my other love as a young adult was to sit in the shade of the Gasometers and watch Surrey play there midweek fixtures. Before going off and trying to emulate them over the weekend. April and September were always a fight between playing cricket or going to Highbury, girls didnt get a look in LOL

  36. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    Thanks for another great post – you’ve managed to flush out several new like-minded bloggers.

    I think Graham speaks from the heart and so we have invited him to formulate his ideas in a post for us if he feels so inclined. It was a shock for me to learn that most of those who own boxes are not Arsenal fans – that explains a lot.

  37. Red Arse says:


    You are right. But I am sure Arsene will do what he thinks is right, not what a lot of hoop-wallers demand.

    As I said last week, we have 2 very tall (6’4″) and very accomplished 18/19 year olds, Bartley and Miguel, coming thru and with just a little patience they will be formidable for us in years to come! 🙂

  38. SharkeySure says:

    The gasometers/tanks are still there DD.

    If you ever drove there in the early 70’s then I was one of the little kids that would offer to ‘watch yer car mister’ for a couple of shilllings !!

    We’d the ‘let’ you park in our block of flats, or mark your car as one ‘not to be vandalised’ if left on either Clayton St or Bowling Green St.

    Memories ‘eh

  39. SharkeySure says:

    Re Vermaelen.

    “”I would rather say late January,” said the Arsenal manager, whose side have struggled defensively in Vermaelen’s absence. “He is short on fitness and we have to build it up. That will take three to four weeks.”

    I’m actually OK with that news, as I originally thought that he had broken down in training.

  40. dandan says:

    Rasp. In the years before my retirement the company acquired a box at Twickenham. We had a hospitality table at Birmingham FC and a table in the Magpie room at Newcastle, but I refused to sanction hospitality at Arsenal as they were my club and I did not want to have to entertain people there when I was watching the Arsenal. Occasionally I would take individual like minded customers to hospitality on an add hoc basis. I also had 6 debenture seats at Lord’s where we paid a loan up front and this gave us first refusal on the seats for any game, where should we use them we paid the current rate if we didn’t want them they were sold in the normal raffle. After several years the original money was refunded to us and a new deal agreed.
    I always saw Arsenal play at Birmingham or Newcastle the boss entertaining the customers you understand LOL but never went otherwise. Twickenham i Perhaps went 3 or 4 times in all the years we had it.
    So as you can see it is usual for boxes in many instances to be used purely for entertaining and in the most part if you are an international company as we were then they customers you invite are those who support away team

  41. Big Raddy says:

    TV …. no surprise there. Nor with the Almunia “ankle injury”. It is an exciting prospect to have Diaby, Gibb sand Cesc for the Chelsea game. With the Stoke match postponed I cannot see Diaby getting a start but I am excited y his return. I think our strongest MF is Song, Nasr,i Cesc and Diaby which assumes Song stays close to the defence.

  42. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan,

    In that case, I’d be for upping the prices in the boxes to subsidise the cost for us ‘commoners’ so that some of the grass roots supporters could afford to attend more often.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Very interesting DD. I have been to boxes at Spurs and Chelsea as a guest for AFC games. In both cases the box was full of Gooners, which tallies with your comment

  44. Red Arse says:

    The prices of the boxes are exorbitant, but if the filthy lucre flows into Arsenal coffers to help the financial stability of the club that is OK by me.

    The downside is that “foreigners” in those boxes are not going to cheer our lads on, and that won’t help the volume of support.

  45. dandan says:

    In the good times the price was irrelevant really, if used properly the return on the investment far outweighed that which any tout could make.
    At present however, with all the expenses and bonus witch hunts that business has to contend with pricing is probably more important, as the inland revenue will be chasing your invited customers for the benefit in kind accrued from the visit. You as the inviting company are really duty bound to pay this for the client otherwise instead of being seen by him as a perk, it would just pee him off. So companies will pull out, it is not just the cost of the ticket that Joe average would have to replace if that happened but the profit on all the hospitality that the club enjoys from these visitors
    It could well put your prices up.

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have just received some bad news. My mother in law is packing ready for her visit. It explains the dramatic drop in temperature. Anyone got a spare ticket for anything?

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I get your point about supply and demand as well as the touts. You mentioned Paris. Outside the train station, I was offered £1200 for my ticket (singular), and that was by a tout, so goodness knows what he was asking.
    My only point was that somehow in the various moves (from N.Bank standing onwards), we have lost the togetherness of the vocal support, who were first split up with the introduction of all seating as well as the bond scheme.

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry, I did not make that very clear. During the rebuilding of the North Bank, everyone was shifted to all parts of the ground (mural time), and never really came back together again.

  49. Big Raddy says:

    True Micky. I moved to the Clock End during the mural years, right behind the goal – loved it so much I never returned to the North Bank.

    I guess the seats were the real problem, we always stood on the Clock End until the stewards were forced to stop it.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi BR,
    My regular group on the North Bank was about 12 of us. Three of us went to the Clock End, never to return. The rest were split upper and lower East. Again, never returned. To some extent there would have been some movement away over the years as some got richer and some would have fancied sitting through age! Nevertheless, none of us would have moved so suddenly. Shame. Still meet them all before most games I get to, so there’s the strength of Goonerdom. It is for life whatever life throws at us.

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, its a very very big fish for me. I am going to need massive mental strength!
    Blogging off. Goodnight.

  52. Great Post DD.

    It’s so very true about the media types isolating the praise and blame to the squad and it’s manager. The precious cogs and sparkling minds working above the magic at AFC are in my opinion, too wise to push for the deserved credit.

    The Chavs work as a brilliant topical example of my point.

    The Overrated: Peter Kenyon

    Peter Kenyon pipes up and makes a noticeable character of himself and embarrasses the game in consecutive back to back story-lines during his time at the chav pad, grinning the whole way with a look of sheer enjoyment at the stir he has created…he manages to blow up on news rags and create a constant burrow of interest on Sky Sports News. all whilst sharing the stage with the modern games most headline grabbing manager!

    He was allowed to behave like a complete maverick, because everybody felt he was furthering the club with his decisions. His legacy is nothing but a tarnish on that club in my opinion, trophies aren’t worth the same when they’re won dirty and without a deal of grace and class.

    The Underrated: Ray Wilkins

    Simply put, The board and controlling bodies completely underestimated the vital cog he performed in the players development. (probably consoling them about their failed marriages) He didn’t wear the suits or flash the winning smile, he probably didn’t have as such a substantial voice. And in turn the club has lost a substantial figure and have lost a super substantial amount of points…Which is ruddy fantastic!

    On a final note I’d like to address all the staff at the Emirates and those that served solely at Highbury.

    When I was just a toddler running around my garden in my JVC home strip, and a teen watching Ljungberg and Parlour put a weaker, yet significantly more moral Chelsea to the sword on TV. I would never have gave a second thought about the amount of hands involved in making moments of pure genius like that happen.

    Well, now when I’m watching our grass root potential grow from year to year, and admiring the quality of our fantastic stadium gain history and character (the accolades will come) from year to year, and remaining forever in awe of the genius Frenchman navigating our hopes from his technical area.

    I can happily say, that now I am aware of the hard-working bodies pulling the strings out of the spotlight, maybe even operating the floodlights!

    To those I say “Thankyou”

    Novella Over.

  53. London says:

    Re Paris

    Did any one see or hear about the Arsenal supporter who was trying to climb over the railings and slipped and impaled himself. The were dozens of fire brigade who apparantly couldn’t just lift him of the railing for fear of what would happen so they were cutting the top of the railing presumably to take him and the bit of railing to the hospital. This all happened quite close to our entrance. Sorry to bring this up but there was talk of what people were prepared to pay to get in and see that game.

    I wonder what became of him?

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Well said Ryan.

    London …. hardly a happy bedtime story!

  55. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Arsenal don’t play till Tuesday morning here 😦

  56. kelsey says:

    Good morning,

    like dandan I have lived through some good and bad times following the Arsenal and in simple terms,that is what is meant by supporting the club.
    My first match in the late fifties had an attendence of over 60000, and atmosphere a plenty.
    Things change and us older fans have a different perspective to perhaps our kids who were fortunate to grow up with more success than failure.
    I don’t think any of us knew how Wenger would literally change the whole nature of football and the players attitude,fitness,diet,training methods etc.
    There have been some great comments above some I agree with others not.

    It has been a juggling act with limited funds these past 6 years compared to Chelsea and now the vile wages payed by city to various mercenaries,who will come and go until they finally buy the league,but at what cost.To the sheikhs it’s all about a footing in the western world,never about actually getting a return.
    However now I worry that we don’t have the right balance of players in the team and Wenger seems to take an eternity to change things,if he does at all.
    Imagine there are some players earning 2 or 3 times as others on the pitch at the same time,and then i wonder why there is no loyalty these days.
    Atmosphere within the stadium is a hard call, with the corporate cliental making up a huge slice of match day revenue,and most are there for a day out and most probably couldn’t name more than a few of our players.but that is the way of life these days.
    We pay the highest ticket prices in the land,but that doesn’t equate to winning trophies.if some think it does then they should cease going and let others attend who actually support the team.
    I still feel Wenger has to much control and he is often his own worst enemy,but project youth will continue for a few more years before we can hopefully reap the rewards yet again.

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Reading through the comments, one thing springs to mind. We are all soooo old! Anyhow, morning anyone.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yikes, grizzly story. I did not know that. I was at the Arsenal End and didn’t hear/see anything. I was in the “white T-shirt” zone!! Grrrrr.

  59. Morning Micky – well you know I’m only 19 and I know you’re only 25 so I’m sure we manage to bring the average age down a tad 😉

    Good comments kelsey – I can’t see AW ever bringing a big name to Arsenal now, I think he’s too caught up in developing players.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Kelsey. I hope all is well with you. Of course, you being much older than me I must bow to your greater experience of the dark days. That said, we have been privileged to see some great AFC teams.

    Not being one to live in the past I am fascinated by the long term effects of the Oligarch invasion. I have read of Super-Leagues backed by Arab money and of breakaway leagues in response to the financial fair play rules. One thing is certain, Arsenal are well placed to compete on any level – we may not win the silverware but we will be at the forefront of any developments.

    I recall when the Arabs started to get involved in horse racing, people thought it was a passing fancy, now 20 years later they control the sport worldwide and reap the financial benefits therein. Could the same happen with football?

    As to player earnings, it is the same at every club and in almost every walk of life. Those who excel get more money.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Who are you calling the “O” word ???

  62. I’m gonna put that ‘o’ word into the banned section 🙄

    Loving Football is like Rock and Roll surely – you’re never too mature to enjoy it 😉

  63. goonermichael says:

    Morning Raddy, Peaches and Mickey.
    Peaches I thought you were more like 17 at the most.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Morning GM. Hope all is well in your world. We are in the middle of a serious snowstorm. It is minus 12 with strong winds from Russia. Over a foot has fallen in the past 3 hours and more to come.

    And I am due to fly out tomorrow for a ski holiday in Switzerland.

    Send positive vibes out to the brave chaps clearing the railway tracks and the airport runways.

  65. kelsey says:

    More hair raddy.

    ignore me goonermichael, everyone else does 🙂

  66. goonermichael says:

    The weather has hit business in London as you can imagine Raddy but this year has been good generally. Have a great trip. I’m going to pick up a goose from the butchers in a minute I’ve never had one before.

  67. goonermichael says:

    Sorry Kelsey 🙂 Good morning!

  68. goonermichael says:

    I better be off see you all later

  69. Morning kelsey 🙂

    Hi goonermichael – very sweet of you to say so 😉

    Raddy – I read Heathrow didn’t order enough anti-freeze and thats why everything ground to a standstill here – outrageous!!!!!!! I expect the Danes are much better prepared.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Hope so !!

    Apparently Spurs have put in a bid for Julio Baptista! Harry will surely spend big in January , his pension fund must need a boost

  71. London says:


    There is much less meat on a goose than you might be used to size for size with a turkey. I recommend a small back up turkey, they are so chap nowadays, you can’t have too much meat but too little can be very dissapointing. Now this leads us to the question what would Arsene do for crizzy lunch, would he buy a ready to eat turkey or would he buy a young one, early in the year, and develop it. There is probably a post here lol.

  72. London 😆

    Raddy – I’m surprised ‘arry didn’t want Bobby, he just craves ex-Gunners – I’m expecting him to bring Reyes back to the prem.

    Darren Bents mum was non too complimentary about how ‘arry likes to do business when Sunderland wanted her boy and suddenly Stoke were after him.

  73. goonermichael says:

    Thanks for the advice. It’s for 2 of us so it should be ok though. Arsene would go to Paris for a nibble on a ready made one.

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