Robin – He’s still our Captain Fantastic.

There are rumours abound that he hasn’t signed/isn’t going to sign, there are rumours that he’s holding out for more money, that he wants assurances about signings, that he wants this, that and the other.

It’s all dross and hyperbole, no one outside Arsène’s house knows what happened on Wednesday morning.

What I say is this, regardless of the results of the contract negotiations this summer with Robin, I thank him with all of my Gooner heart because he has given me some amazing memories, hit some amazing goals and been able to drag a struggling side from 17th to 3rd in a season where goals from elsewhere in the team are harder to come by than a fat-free option in your favourite Kebab House.

He has brought something new to the Arsenal table. He brought fight and real passion. When Robin banged in one of his amazing goals the joy on his face and the determination to score more for Arsenal was tangible. We all revelled in the glory of Robin and rather than castigate him for taking time to consider his options, we should celebrate him and what he has done for us.

Make no bones about it – Robin has done something in that dressing room. Lord knows what it is but the guys have more fight than last year. We didn’t quite have enough in the tank to overhaul ManCiteh and ManYoo but we have done extremely well to end up where we are. It has been a divisive season. Some fans are saying that 3rd isn’t good enough. Some fans are suggesting that last summer’s transfer dealings were poor.

I say, move on. It happened. What is the point in trying to play the blame game? There are no winners in that. What Arsenal had to do was recover and produce a season that made us believe that there is a future without Fabregas and Na$ri.

I believe.

I look at our team now and I see actual hope wearing an Arsenal shirt. I look at Podolski in his press release and I see a fighter. Just look at him. He’s muscle on legs and before I gush about him I believe he is a massive part of the future of Arsenal FC. He’s got pace, power and a vicious left foot.

He will be a massive player for us. In him I think Robin has real hope that the puritan, Arsenal way can and will conquer the Premier League once again.

Wigan Gooner

193 Responses to Robin – He’s still our Captain Fantastic.

  1. eriss says:

    Its amazing guys like u don’t write very often but this is great. U are a true gonner.

  2. stobin says:

    on a different note
    about singing up players…had wenger singed up RvP to say a 4-5 year contract before the just finished season…and RvP went on to hv a stinker or spent 3/4 of the season crocked like he used to…we would be absolutely tearing into wenger at the moment…case n point Diaby/djourou….they hv recently signed long term contracts…and wenger gets ‘u dont know wat ur doin’ jibe…but if he had not signed them up and they went on to have stellar seasons in the comin year..we would be tearing into wenger again…it’s a gamble,and what most don’t realise is all their comments and opinions are based on the nows…hindsight is a great thing to have ain’t it?
    Viera can yap all he wants as to how losing RvP will be down to arsenal’s mistake n yada yada…but truth be told…no one saw RvP being fit for the whole season n banging ’em in left right and centre…
    so if RvP decides to leave arsenal and wenger who hv trusted/supported./paid him throughout the turmoil n injury filled 8 years in this club..so be it…loyalty is something that is difficult to come by nowadays..

  3. Morning all and a pithy probing post there Wiggy.

    On the pitch Robin has barely put a foot wrong all season, for which all Gooners are grateful.

    It seems there is a lot of angst about the stalemate with Robin’s contract and for me the most relevant point is if both parties knew there would be no conclusion after one mornings talks why were the negotiations not timetabled a bit earlier, say for Monday ?

    This implies either there was no intention to finalise the deal before the Robin went off the the Netherlands training squad or either party didn’t realise how long it would take and got caught out by a lack of foresight.

    Nobody knows, but it’s best not to get caught up in the speculation and adopt a fatalistic attitude as it’ll only lead to further angst and the re-living of the horror of summer transfer windows past.

  4. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well said WG, and the 1st two commenters of the day reflect the spirit that should embody Arsenal supporters.

    Stobin you are so right about the use of hindsight. Whenever RvP got a knock on the pitch the whole of the Emirates went quiet, that is the expectation, that eventually he will get injured. If he signs I will applaud, if he leaves then as both you and WG say so be it, no man is bigger than the club.

    Twitter reaction last night to there being no news was incredible, RvP was already being labelled a traitor and he has made no decision yet, did we learn nothing about the way we spoke about Nasri and Cesc before their minds were made up? Some will argue their minds were already made up but I personally don’t like to think that fan reaction could’ve swayed them slightly in their decision.

    But here for me was the most poignant tweet:

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi WG, nice to see you back here on AA with a post and well done Sir! 🙂

    I agree with everything in your post and I hope that your positive and calm perspective on the RvP contract shenanigans will rub off on other Gooners today.

    Stobin, that’s a fine comment.

  6. jnyc says:

    Im up early! nice sentiments WG. Obviously really came from your heart. I always enjoy your comments here also. I am very hopeful about this summer and next season. I hope we are proven correct.

  7. goonerjake says:

    Hey,

    I hope you are right, i love robin van persie so much with the way he plays. I also dislike it when arsenal players leave.

    However whatever the outcome (and i really am positive about him staying) always remember that it isnt players that make a club… its not the owners… IT IS US THE SUPPORTERS. As long as we stay together The Arsenal will prevail.

    Victory Through Harmony,

    goonerjake

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Superb post Wiggy. I really hope that Robin stays, but if he moves on I will not be devastated as the club have shown that we are not going to leave ourselves vulnerable again by signing the Pod.

    The Boy Wonder has been fantastic this season and the best captain since Vieira so I wish him luck as long as he moves abroad – should he choose to stay in England I will feel betrayed.

    A front 3 of Theo RvP and the Pod is a mouthwatering prospect, I hope we get to see it next season.

  9. Hi Raspers, that front 3 certainly looks a lot beter than Peachy’s worst case scenario of Park, Chamakh and Theo.

  10. flintstone says:

    Without RvP’s goals and contribution,this season would have been the worst EVER. Spuds would have finished above us with bragging rights. May be not even EUROPA football. AW would have been booed to death. RvP has in one season PAID BACK in full,only stupid morons whinge about his position,his love and loyalty for the club has never wavered. He is pushing for a commitment and goal,other than business ONLY,from the club like all real fans. If he chooses to leave,then the obvious is there for all to see. The club is ONLY a business,so what is the point of staying unless there is a change of OWNER.

  11. Khimzzy gooner says:

    Amazing words ma fellow gooner. Keep it gooner 4ever.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    GoonerJake.10.25 Well said Sir.

    WG. We have become inured to players leaving. Apart from TA and DB10, they all have. Would be great if RVP joins the elite, but if not, “so long and thanks for all the fish “

  13. Rasp says:

    Hi chary, a front 3 of Theo, pod and the Ox/Gerv isn’t too bad either?

  14. Gooner In Exile says:

    Jake….a fine comment sir

    Rasp….I agree re the front 3, very tasty. Regarding him playing for anyone other than us in England, if we think he will leave we have to get used to the idea it might be to another PL club.i just don’t think Germany or Italy have the pull for Robin, after his comments about Barca and their lack of funds they are ruled out. So it’s Madrid or PL clubs (IMO)

  15. mystic says:

    If Arsene believes that Arsenal will do so well next season, then it is up to him to make certain that RvP is still part of the team REGARDLESS of whether he re-signs this summer.

    If the main sticking point, as we are led to believe, is that he wants silverware before he retires, then an Arsenal on the brink next season might well be enough to get him to re-sign (if he hasn’t already done so).

    Ultimately whatever the outcome, I will be 100% behing the club at the start of next season. I am a short-sighted, biased, optimistic, Arsenal till I die supporter.

  16. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, everyone is forgetting about Theo in this process. He’s running out of contract and yet to sign too. Maybe keeping Theo will hinge on keeping RvP after the fantastic partnership they have formed this season.

    Worse still, a prospective buyer may also view the two as a ‘pair’ and try to lure thm both away – or better still, they both decide to stay 😕

  17. Raspers, I think we should wind up Peachy by eulogising about a spear head of Chamkah and Park 🙂

    BTW, have to give Tevez a pat on the back: it’s true, old bacon face is NOT the President of England !

  18. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp, has Theo only got a year left? Would expect more noise if so.

  19. Rasp says:

    GiE, I believe his contract expires in June 2003 – so yes, he is in the same position. The internet rumour ( 😕 ) is he is asking for 100k if RvP is getting 130k – pinch of salt required

  20. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the post WG, quality stuff.

    The bane of our footballing lives, players leaving. What justice is there in this world when every season we lose important cogs to our side? It does my head in. i dont think i can take any more of this nonsense. I am convinced, and i know its just my point of view and might be totally wrong, but if we had the financial muscle to keep the endless talent that has left in the last seven years we could have won 2 or 3 leagues

    Everything is there at the Club for it to be successful, except the money to compete with the predators who steal our players. Yet ime confused, are we not also predators? We took Theo and ox from Southampton so there fans probably regard us like City.

    The sad conclusion that i take from all of this is that football is a dog eat dog world, were clubs muscle in and take each others players, and agents and the players jump ship like katie price jumps beds. Just stating the bloody obvious i know, but every year it gets bloody worse.

    No morality or ethics are left in football. For this reason is i shall attend every home game next season with a placard. The front shall read “Loyalty and passion is dead – Repent”, and the back will be “Jumpers for goal posts you Bastards”.

  21. Gooner In Exile says:

    On that basis you are right, one follows the other I guess. Although RvP going allows Theo to stake a claim for the front man?

    As LB has said Gerv seems to prefer the right flank, so let’s go with Charys front 3 with slight tweak:

    Gerv…….Cham…….Pod

    Lovely job 😦

  22. 2003 Raspers ? Theo would have been 15 then. 🙂

  23. Gooner In Exile says:

    😀 Terry

  24. mystic says:

    @ Rasp ‘GiE, I believe his contract expires in June 2003’

    Whoops – just being pernicity, guessing you meant 2013!

  25. Rob Lucci says:

    GIE,

    That’s the best tweet I’ve heard for along time. Only Dennis have a higher place in my heart than Arsene, and I really hope Robin can both of them..

  26. Rob Lucci says:

    GIE,

    That’s the best tweet I’ve heard for along time. Only Dennis have a higher place in my heart than Arsene, and I really hope Robin can eclipse both of them..

  27. chas says:

    Loving the post, WG.
    It seems as though some sections of the Arsenal support are addicted to stress. The season’s finished, 3rd was an excellent outcome, but let’s torture ourselves all the way through until August. Unbelievable.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Excellent Post, WG, but then that is no surprise to those of us who follow you on the WiganGooner blog site!! 🙂

    Beautifully summed up and resonant with the feelings expressed by many decent Gooners.

    An inside source at Citeh (?) Viera, said Arsenal had left it too late to tie RVP into a new contract, and he is probably right, but it takes two to tango.

    This inside source also said that Arsenal will lose RVP this summer, and then Walcott will leave and next year it will be Jack.

    Uncomfortably realistic tho’ unpleasant assessment, in my view.
    We cannot keep letting our players go when the oil barons click their fingers.
    For the next two or three years, until FFP really bites and supresses the profligate spending that has become the norm, we need to push the financial boat out and match these b*stards, to keep our best players and to make other quality transfers, where, and if, we need them!

    If this policy of matching Citeh, Chelsea and Manyoo in the immediate future were put into effect, we would fulfil Robin’s desire to be paid the market rate, and with new, quality additions make him feel he will win the trophies that all ambitious players want.
    In that respect, at least, Fat Boy Nasri was right, however much we despise him.

    Well done, Wiggy! 🙂

  29. oz gunner says:

    It’s real simple for me:

    Arsenal legend vs Just another player

    Arsenal legend = further involvement in Arsenal down the track. Adored by many, respected by more!

    Just another player = me joining Terry with a placard, only difference is mine will have a few more expletives.

    @ Wigan

    well said, life will go on! I’ve wanted Podolski at Arsenal since he first appeared in the World Cup, and i want to see he and RVP sending rockets soaring through goals together all throughout Europe

  30. WiganGooner says:

    Thank you so much everyone! 🙂

    So many lovely comments, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂

    WG

  31. Double98 says:

    hey Vieira

    (Benayoun + Arteta + Mertesacker) = (Fabragas + Nasri + Clichy) + 2 EPL points + €50m

    So Shut up you money grabbing swine –

    Lets all remember that he whined and bitched his way out of highbury
    2 close seasons of sagas to RM and ended up being shipped off to juventus

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Dutch media are reporting that RvP is the only player of the national team who is not talking to the press at the moment. The only thing he has said is the club and him have agreed not to speak to the press.

    The press does not like that of course, as it is an insatiable monster that gets rather grumpy if it is not fed instantly, which probably means they will make things up in the meantime.

    I see that, still, as a positive sign.

    RA, that is indeed an uncomfortable comment you made @12.31. Let’s wait and see what happens in the next few months though – a lot will become clear regarding Arsenal’s strategy and financial strength.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Nice one, Wigan.

    Robin, will he or won’t he? Who knows, but if there really are tweeter-Gooners throwing around words like “traitor” that just shows how little understanding there is of what is going on. This is van Persie’s last big contract and there are plenty of factors in play: the ones that come to mind are money, prospect of trophies, reputation, day-to-day happiness, position in pecking order and contentedness of the van Persie family.

    As regards the van Persie family, it’s worth bearing in mind that Mrs van Persie is of Moroccan descent and their kids therefore have mixed heritage and have Muslim names. That may not sound very important but speaking as the father of mixed race children, London is a great and almost unique place for a young mixed race family. Other than Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Singapore, I’m not sure there’s anywhere that can rival London as a place for a mixed race family. I don’t know how Mr and Mrs van P look at things, but were it me, that would be a big factor, and could negate bigger money elsewhere. I’d certainly look at a place like Manchester or Madrid (much as I like them to visit) and question very closely whether my family would be happy enough there.

    Personally, I think van Persie will stay but my guess is he genuinely hasn’t made up his mind and is looking at the options. He’s entitled to take his time, but inevitably the tabloids and blogosphere will feed Goonerdom’s sense of neurosis. Same old, same old.

    The thing that I’m much more enthusaistic to see progress is the sales of other players. We need to continue last summer’s rejuvenation of the squad and, with the PL cap on numbers and with a heavy wage-bill, that means moving several players on before we bring in the couple of new names we probably need.

  34. RockyLives says:

    Excellent Post Wiggy – as evidenced by the number of fine, balanced and positive comments it has drawn forth.

    No-one – apart from AW, IG and RvP – really knows how the negotiations are going, so everything we’re reading is speculation – much of it agenda-driven.

    The Arsenal haters already have Robin out the door and off to Citeh because it reinforces their campaign against Arsene and the Club’s management.

    The Press need something (anything) to write about so, in the absence of any information, they just make it up.

    Thank Dennis for the reasoned voices on AA!

    An oasis of good sense is a desert of poop.

  35. chas says:

    Totally agree about Vieira. He only ended up at Man City once he became surplus to requirements at Inter. The Oilers were willing to pay him a ridiculous amount of money to be a squad player. He was bound to stay there after his playing career ended. Money for old rope.

  36. RockyLives says:

    26
    “Other than Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Singapore, I’m not sure there’s anywhere that can rival London as a place for a mixed race family.”

    Oh yes there is – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – most multiracial city in the ‘developed’ world.

    That’s it! Robin is coming to Toronto FC, who have just set a record for the worst start ever to a MLS season 🙂

  37. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    I’ve been really busy lately so I didn’t get to really say how much I enjoyed your post yesterday.

    I can’t go beyond mashing the Spuds as my favourite moment of the year, but the others were all fantastic too.

  38. 26may1989 says:

    Rocky, Toronto, quite right, my apologies to all those hailing from Terannah. Montreal should also get a reference.

    Toronto FC? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm….. I know they have vocal and enthusiastic fans but, without wishing to be cruel, my guess is that may not be enough. 🙂

  39. Big Raddy says:

    D98.

    You know I respect your opinions but not in this case!

    PV4 is an AFC legend who has been temporarily misled. …. a money grabbing swine he is not.

    Money grabbing, perhaps, a swine – Never.

    & as I recall, it was AW who showed PV the door not the other way round. Anyone who saw PV in his final season could see he was half the player he had been and we got good money for him. This is fact not rumour.

    He was crap at Juve, worse at AC (who can forget how Cesc humiliated him),and pitiful at MC.

    PV4 played 300 odd games for us and left us aged 29. In total, he played just over 100 after leaving us.

    I can see him back at THOF where he belongs.

  40. 26may1989 says:

    I still find it hurtful seeing Vieira at City. I hate what they represent so much, and I loved Paddy as a player so much, seeing him speak for them never fails to cause me a spasm of pain.

  41. RockyLives says:

    I fear you’re right 26

    Their fans are great, but they don’t get much investment in the team from the owners.

    I was at the recent game versus DC United where they set the “worst start” record – eight straight losses.

    The MLS is growing in popularity, but if TFC were in England they would be a League One team.

  42. lafitha says:

    THIS is the WORST POST I have read in my life arsenal survived Because RVP has been Amazing he has maintained his form While the players Around him were performing Average he has performed like a world class player that he has been.

    arsenal has rosicky .wilshere And arteta So they will continue to survive At the top of the table but can we really Hope for any trophies Next season if we are loosing our best players Each season How long will it be before more players leave… Wengers policies have failed to a certain point because for 7 years have gone by with No real achievement we have Qualified to CL every time but have we ever won it No point in qualifying If We have no hope of winning

    RVP wants wenger to Show Some desire to Win Trophies But wenger is caught up in GREED i am forever a gunner even if We loose RVP or go another season without a trophy But i Will continue to blame Those who are responsible

    Questions has to be raised By the fans on The intentions of The Arsenal FC SO DONT ASK US TO STAY QUIET. When Cesc left followed by nasri we were in deep S*** And I wonder what will happen When the most consistent player in our squad leaves :/

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Off you go to the dunce’s corner lafitha, don’t come on here and insult people, especially those who’ve taken the time to write something. By all means disagree, but learn some manners and show some respect.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    chas. I am not going to argue about this because we are talking of a proper Arsenal Great

    3 PL titles , 4 FA Cups, a WC winner whilst at AFC, 6 times selected to the PFA Team of the Season.

    And Captain of the Invincibles.

    A Swine?????

  45. Big Raddy says:

    26. Hurts me too. So let’s get Paddy back in the fold.

  46. Off topic, but another player everybody was happy to see the back of has also won a League title: Arshavin.

    And on the PV debate, I fear he has forever gone over to the side of evil so he cannot be spoken of in the same legendary terms of DB10 or TA06.

    What does everyone make of the media ban on RvP while he’s with the dutch squad ?

  47. RockyLives says:

    “Off you go to the dunce’s corner” 😀

  48. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed Raddy. I really don’t resent the other ex-Gooners at the Wastelands: Nasri made the right choice for him (lots of cash, easier trophies, the lower pressure of a squad role and more spacious shorts), Clichy needed something new, Adebayor is a dickhead, Brian Marwood loves power games, David Platt is a loser who needed a job and still remembers a bit of his Italian, Brian Kidd is a lightweight, and Stuart Taylor has the perfect job (lots of training, no matches).

    But if we could get Vieira out of there, I’d be delighted.

  49. 26, was Brian Kidd with us at some point then ?

  50. 26may1989 says:

    Mid 1970s Chary, so before your time!

  51. Blimey, you learn something new every day,26.

    Actually, I should have known that as I was around then, just didn’t notice him.

  52. He was hardly here 5 minutes then 26, only 2 years is brief.

    I suppose all those years seeeing him next to Bacon face on the bench have coloured my perception of him as nothing but a Manc.

    God I hate Sir Phallix Fungus-scum.

  53. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sorry Raddy, ime with D98 on this one. Viera is showing no respect to the club at all. In fact, his words could be construed as a form of tapping up. if some one wants to join “Project City”, and enjoy all the success and money that goes along with that association then fair enough, but to try and undermine his former club in such a public way is not in my book acceptable. I got it wrong earlier, i will not be taking my placard to Arsenal, i should be taking it to City instead. The front shall read “Petrol $ is the route of all evil – Repent”, and the back shall be “30 pieces of silver for Viera”

  54. Red Arse says:

    While I am more relaxed than probably most, as to whether players can legitimately move on from Arsenal without rancour, either for a huge pay hike or to win trophies, I find it incomprehensible that they should appear to delight in bad mouthing Arsenal.

    Look, I am an Arsenal fan, and whatever the original cause of my becoming a Gooner, I can never sever that emotional link.

    Players are different. Many of them, especially the gifted foreign players, came to Arsenal because they wanted to better their salaries and their opportunities to win trophies.
    Most of them go on to forge a strong affinity between themselves; their teams, and the club’s fans.

    But and it is a big but, they are not necessarily fans of the club they play for.
    They may well have formed a fan’s allegiance to another club when they were young, and have just as much love for a French or Dutch club, or heaven forfend another British club, which will never leave them.
    Therefore, why should it be a surprise if the very raison d’etre that brought them to Arsenal in the first instance, should make them cast covetous eyes at another club who can trump their current circumstances.

    No, that is not a problem to me — that is just human nature.

    What really galls me, is that players who were special to Arsenal and Arsenal fans should bad mouth us after they leave.
    Viera, now at City, appears to have done so, ditto Nasri (not so Gael Clichy or Kolo Toure), David O’Leary, Paul Merson (Chelsea fan), and others. Distasteful!

    Others who joined Arsenal from other clubs but who never disrespected us and, who I believe, did become fans like Frank McLintock, Charlie Nicholas and (IMNSHO) even Cesc deserve to be respected in return.

    Are players who leave us traitors? No! They are just plying their trade, practising their profession or bettering themselves — because in the main, they are not bound to the club in the way a fan is.

    Remember, there are far, far more players who are shown the door by every club, whether they are fans or not, because it is in the club’s interest to get rid of them to boost their coffers or because they are deemed not good enough.

    Is the club a ‘traitor’ to them too? No! It is simply engaged in the business of football, and has to make these decisions because it has a responsibility to its fans, it needs to survive, it needs to win trophies, it needs to be part of the community.

    This whole emotive issue of ex-players and our relationship with them is far more complex than we often think!

  55. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant stuff Redders

  56. Red Arse says:

    Terry, 🙂

    I hope before you start wafting your placard at all and sundry, you will ask the Rock for advice on wording and spelling! 🙂

  57. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No Redders, getting the spelling wrong makes it seem more weirdly menacing hahahaha

  58. Red Arse says:

    You are far too kind TerryM. 🙂

    I can dash off a long winded comment like that in about 2 minutes flat, and frankly it looks like it! 😦

    My trouble is when I have had a dabble at Post writing the time scale and the quality is much the same.

    So, whereas I like to think that it is acceptable to do so, when writing a comment, I think it is disrespectful to my fellow AAers when I try and pass such a product off as a Post.

    How do you, TA, Rocky, WG, GIE, Chas and all the others manage to put such a good quality veneer on your essays?

    Not that I am jealous mind!! :mrgreen:

  59. spanishgooner says:

    I love this blog !! Quality place to come to . The positivity (is that a real word ?) on here is really amazing.I don´t comment much because I always find that someone has already said what I wanted to – and always in a better way than I could have but it makes me feel good to “belong” – even in my own small way.
    Excellent post WG , really well said. Thank you.
    Normally finishing third would not be good enough but crikey, after the start and the injuries we had this season it´s nothing short of miraculous and I for one am well happy with it.
    Of course I hope RvP stays but if he goes then we have no option but to get on without him – and who doubts that we won´t ? Arsene will get the magic wand out again .Can´t wait for August !!

  60. Red Arse says:

    Mebbe your write, TearryM! 🙂

  61. Red Arse says:

    spanishgooner,

    You are welcome and I hope you comment more in the future. 🙂

    Don’t worry about repeating, in your own words, what someone else has apparently already said.

    I have never written an original comment, but then who has? 🙂
    It’s just good to read that someone else agrees or disagrees with something written by a fellow Gooner!

    Do you know, your writing style is extremely similar to a famous AAer, known as the award winning Glic, a most engaging and amusing friend of ours!! 🙂

  62. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    i never noticed before but your gravatar looks a lot like the devil. Interesting…both God (dennis) and the devil (you) reside at Arsenal!

    In regards to your 3.08, that is far to much logic to handle haha. As far as I’m concerned every player is as much an Arsenal fan as us here on AA. So if one leaves like (Cesc or Nasri for instance) i take great offence and feel they are traitors. But hey that is just my over the top loyalty, your reasons are far more sensible!

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA 🙂 you are in fine form today! Could it be you’ve had your weekly portion of fish and chips this afternoon, cause something is making you fire from all cylinders!

    Hi Spanish Gooner, really good of you to comment. It might look like everybody knows each other here on AA but every month a few new ‘regulars’ join us, and we are all keen to get to know fellow Gooners, wherever they are based.

    Are you Spanish but based in the UK, or are you based in Spain, or somewhere else? Kelsey is one of the regulars here and he is based in Spain.

  64. Double98 says:

    Big Raddy – I too concur with a lot of your commentary here but we may differ slightly on Vieira.

    I think in the marbled halls in Arsenal heaven there is a waiting room for Legend status and Paddy made it there at best. He was never in the same bracket as say Adams, Wright or Henry who all bask in the eternal glory of Denis Bergkamp in the Arsenal hall of fame

    Vieira did act like a girl trying to get out of the club and was sold by Wenger to Juventus before he ruined a second summer with the whole will he / won’t he saga with Real Madrid.

    And it was Pires who humiliated him by winning that tackle and robbed him and then laid it off for henry to feed cesc

    I think he and other former players should have more respect for people like you who still have a soft spot for them and refuse to comment negatively on our players, manager or anything.

    I had no issue with Samir Nasri until he attacked the fans, and even then we did provoke him –
    Paddy tho’ he took our love and wants to keep it will he throws it back in our faces.

  65. Sweeps says:

    In recent times we as a club have shown no ambition! I’ve had a season ticket since the 70’s. Every season we get lied to by Wenger and the board. the latest non truth being that a decision will be made on RVP’s future with Arsenal before he goes to the Euros. Us fans are being made to look like mugs! Like true Arsenal supporters RVP wants to win trophies, so who can blame him if he doesn’t sign a new contract….

  66. 26may1989 says:

    Players aren’t the club, the fans are. So when players leave for other clubs, it’s usually something to just accept.

    Vieira is a bit of a special case in my mind, because his recruitment (along with Petit and Anelka) really marked the beginning of the Prof’s genius signings, and the revolution that followed. And unlike Petit and Anelka, Paddy was with us for all his good years, through further periods of radical development and era-defining success. So to me, he’s tied into the fabric of the club in a way that can probably only compare with Dennis or TA in the last decade and more.

    I’d be gutted if van Persie left, but it wouldn’t last. The players who leave and whom I hate are those who do it in a way that attacks the club or us, the fans. Nasri and Adebayor tick those boxes, so deserve the vitriol they get. Clichy, Toure, Pires, Henry, Cesc etc didn’t, so they get better treatment.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Could it be, and yes I am looking through a glass brimming to the top with nectar, that Arsenal are waiting till the French season is finished on Sunday, in order to announce on Monday both the signing of M’Villa and RvP having agreed to a new four year contract?

  68. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    No fish and chips today, sadly. 😦

    Because I am very sedentary at the moment, I am feeling a little restless, and that might reflect in my writing!

    Hi Ozzer, 🙂

    Football, and all that it engenders, is a very emotive subjective.

    The fans, who make it worthwhile, are always passionate and committed and their views, which are often contrary, frequently defy logic and pragmatism but that’s what makes them so unpredictable and special! 🙂

    You are very much in the majority – me in the minority! 🙂

  69. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    26, Viera is not just undermining the club with his comments, he is working against it. He is in the employment of City and therefore his latest public outburst can only be construed as a form of tapping up. He was a great player, we all know that but he is actively trying to harm the clubs future. He can go do one.

  70. Double98 says:

    and yet 26 he left and paved the way for all henry, fabregas and (Hopefully not) RVP
    a lose thread in that fabric

    I seem to be the only one who dislikes fabregas and his yearning to return to his DNA lark – i think his PR is better but his message was the same as Adebayor and the ramifications deeper

    and for years i didn’t hate vieira but his appearance in the nasri orientation video and his mouth are fast driving a wedge between me and him

  71. oz gunner says:

    if that happened TA i would fall to my knees and cry!

  72. Double98 says:

    oz gunner, TA – i have it from a reliable source that the media ban on rvp is just a ruse to flush out all the Mancity transfer plans and lead them on until preseason when it is revealed that RVP, MVP secretly signed last January and his birth cert was faked and he is only 23

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    RA: omnia extares! 😀

  74. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    People like Nasri are just pantomine villians, he can play the ugly sister, he was made for that. But Viera is a different kettle of fish. An Arsenal legend, now actively tring to hurt our future. What ever way i look at it Viera is now an enemy.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s a theory D98! 🙂

  76. Sweeps says:

    Seems to me that too many of our fans are content to plod along every season scraping 3rd or 4th place. We as a club should be challenging for honours with all the resources at our disposal. Our club is the only club in the top 4 that sells it’s top players every season. They want to leave because they realise that without strengthening the team Arsenal will never win any trophies.

  77. Double98 says:

    TMHT – exactly – no body ever wasted a drop of love on Nasri – but Vieira drank deep from that cup and spits it back in our face

    I simply don’t get the motivation –
    You are PV4
    You are loved by Arsenal fans
    You are a millionaire who will never want for anything
    You can walk into any bar in north london and find a dozen gooners who despite you having more money than them, will want to buy you a pint
    You get a 5 minute extension on your career at man city
    ?
    You piss on all the arsenal fans that love you

    It just doesn’t compute

  78. evonne says:

    Oh my Goud, just watched the news – spot a Chav in Bayern. Clue – off his shaven head, fat with a union flag?? Club to be proud of

  79. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    D98, spot on.

    The only thing i can deduce from it is all those years he was playing for us, and he was a great proffesional, a true warrior, is that there was never realy any emotional attachment. Maybe ime been naive but i find the whole thing rather depressing.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Vieira as a player is a legend. One of my all time favourite players. But when players retire they have to survive in the outside world with often a limited social skills-set. Vieira is not covering himself in glory at the moment, but does this mean we should start to de-immortalise him as a player? No way, he will always be one of my favourite ex-Gunners.

  81. Red Arse says:

    TerryM,

    Don’t forget, it is only press reporting an media ‘interpretation’ that makes Viera sound bad.

    Another interpretation is that he was trying to warn the Arsenal management NOT to sell RVP, otherwise the eventual departure of other star players, after his sale, would become more likely.

    It’s all in the way you slice the salami! 🙂

  82. evonne says:

    in Munich of course, soz

    Wigan feeling fizzy inside – ha ha ha 🙂
    Lovely post, thank you for taking time to entertain us!

  83. Double98 says:

    Sweeps spending all the money at your disposal is a philosophy that ruins football clubs
    there is always someone like city who will have more, or united who can borrow more

    The players want to leave because they think they are better than they are.

    Cesc, Henry, Vieira, RVP etc etc were all one man teams in the press headlines. – we have had 1 star and 10 douchebags for years and if you ask me it is the press who are forcing us out of the top 4.
    (David Beckham never got his own show on sky FFS)

    The press do not make the same assertion on rooney, aguero, drogba, modric and you have to ask why that it. They don’t mock Young, Lennon, Nasri, Malouda like they do with Walcott, Gervinho despite Walcott out performing them all in terms of Goals, Assists etc

    there is a philiosophy in Arsenal that is self sustainability and it is fueled by history and the will of Arsene wenger.
    it is perpetual and wondrous and will gather silverware when the non sustainable model starts to fail

  84. evonne says:

    I want Robin to stay and I actually have a good feeling about it. I didn’t have good feelings about Cesc or Thierry, so we might be in luck

    Polish press announced last week that M’Villa is a done deal. Could be bullshit, but could be true

    I don’t feel the same about Viera the way I did, no. He is ManShitty for me now and therefore an enemy. He has enough money to retire or take a less lucritive and more honourable post elsewhere. He chose a top PL club knowing he could hurt us, his love affair with AFC is finished and so is my love for him.
    Mind you, the fans didn’t bring happy memories with them when they went to Italy and sang ‘He comes from Senagal, his team will win feck all’

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Sweeps,

    You are of course entitled to be unhappy and feel our team is not ambitious enough. You are not alone, ‘even’ here on Arsenal Arsenal.

    I believe that Arsenal have done incredibly well to finish third this season, and I am proud of Wenger and the team to finish above the Spuds, Pool, and especially, the Chavs.

    It was always going to be a transitional year, as nobody just replaces the phenomenal quality of Fabregas in a heartbeat, especially when both Jack and Diaby turn out to be injured for the entire season as well.

    Can we compete with the likes of Chelsea and City who both spent £1bn pounds on buying a title or two? Possibly not in the short term, maybe not for a while, but with Wenger at the helm we always have a chance, and therefore I feel positive about the future. And as D98 said earlier, we should never want to become like them – they are a pest to football and compete totally unfairly, but sooner or later the good guys will catch up with them.

    Re Arsenal selling top players every season: the only top player Arsene sold in the last few years is Fabregas. The rest was good business and we never had to look back regretting it. Nasri played 45 games for the oilers and scored 6 goals and had 9 assists (0.33 g/a per game) – Theo dwarfs that easily. Even our new recruit, Gervinho, has done better in his first season: 34 games 4 goals and 8 assists (0.35 g/a per game).

  86. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I did not know you are a Latin scholar letting it “all hang out”! 🙂

    It was not one of my favourite subjects when swotting it at school, but it does help with understanding language! 🙂

    Actually, omnia extares” makes scholar’s laugh as it is a made up phrase. It’s a bit like “Caesar adsum iam forte” [pretend Latin for Caesar had some jam for tea]

    Omnia is actually a third declension adjective in the plural neuter meaning “all” in either the nominative, vocative, or accusative form.

    On the other hand extares is in the imperfect subjunctive active, second person singular. So extares means “you were standing out”.

    Hence, “let it all hang out”.

    Really, I think the more appropriate phrase should be;
    “Totum Dependeat”.
    Derived from Totum = all, and Dependeo = hang about.

    I told you I was bored!! 🙂

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I knew this would tickle you! Totum Dependeat it is then! 🙂

  88. Red Arse says:

    We need 26M, or GIE to give us an indication of what this might mean, if anything, to Arsenal. 🙂

    Arsenal Holdings, the company which owns the football club, is reviewing its stock exchange listing options in view of the doubts over the continuation of the PLUS stock exchange.

    A statement from Arsenal said;
    “The directors of the company note the announcement made by PLUS Markets Group plc on 14th May 2012 regarding the orderly closure of the PLUS-quoted market over a period of up to the next six months.

    “The company (Arsenal) is reviewing its position and the options available to it in light of the announcement and will make an announcement as appropriate in due course.”

    PLUS Markets Group, which owns the exchange, confirmed press speculation on Thursday that it is in discussions to sell it for a nominal sum to inter-dealer broker ICAP.

    Something and nothing? 🙂

  89. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sounds like ‘Totnum dead pan beat’

  90. Red Arse says:

    TerryM, 🙂

    I had forgotten you were around.
    So what does another Latin scholar make of the PLUS Stock Exchange situation?

  91. GunnerN5 says:

    I believe that losing Robin would be a tragedy of the highest order, not only because of his goal scoring ability but also his love for the club and the superb example he portrays to the younger players.
    If he stays it may well cause others to show more loyalty to the club vs their bank accounts.
    The signing of Podolski is obviously a step in the right direction but he will take time to settle into the EPL and his learning curve will be greatly reduced if Robin was his mentor.

    Robins EPL stats are very impressive.

    2004/5 – 26 games 5 goals .192 goals per game 5.2 games per goal.
    2005/6 – 24 – 5 – .208 – 4.8
    2006/7 – 22 – 11 – .500 – 2.0
    2007/8 – 15 – 7 – .467 – 2.1
    2008/9 – 28 – 11 – .392 – 2.5
    2009/10 – 16 – 9 – .563 – 1.8
    2010/11 – 25 – 18 – .720 – 1.4
    2011/12 – 38 – 30 – .789 – 1.3
    Total – 194 – 96 – .495 – .2.03

    His stats are almost a year over year improvement with, as we all know, the last season being the only one where he maintained full fitness and the results were his best.

    I would absolutely hate to see him go IMLTHO he will be a bigger loss than Cesc.

  92. Sweeps says:

    Double98 Spending some money in the right areas could have won us 2 titles in the last 5 years. Losing top players and replacing them with average players earning large salaries is a recipe for disaster, this is the situation we are in now. ‘The press’ mock Walcott and Gervnho because they are inconsistant. They’ll play one good game out of 20 (if we’re lucky). Unfortunately the same has to be said for several others of the squad. I have become very disillusioned at the home of football with the false promises. We were told moving to the Emirates would enable us to compete with the Real Madrids and Barcelona’s of this world. When David Dein was on the board we didn’t have to spend a fortune to be successful, we just chose the right players to strenghthen the team. Now we have a board whose only concern is to make Arsenal a self sustaining model making a huge profit.

  93. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes Redders, i heard about this rumour a while back. Its a private company that owns the exchange and i think they were trying to flog it but no one would buy because its to costly to run, to much regulation i think? Looks like Arsenal will jump to the AIM instead.

  94. Red Arse says:

    Sweeps, are you herb in disguise? 🙂

    If not, you are his long lost dolorous twin!! 🙂

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    RA 🙂 Just what I was thinking!

  96. Red Arse says:

    TA, what gave it away? Style, content, tone, depression? Surely not! 🙂

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    Sweeps be careful “The AA sanitary squad” are on your tail.

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Sweeps. Arsenal do NOT make a huge profit. They just about break even when subtracting the property sales.

    The days of Dein are well and truly over. The agents hold sway and with players being funded by 3rd party dealers, the negotiating skills of any club are irrelevant. The player holds the power.

    If RvP wants out, nothing will stop him from leaving next summer. If I were Gazidis/Laws/AW I would tell his agents he must see out his contract then try to re-ngotiate next summer. A 30 y.o. with a history of injury will be less attractive.

    As to competing with RM & Barca. Have patience. Barca wasn’t built in a day.

  99. glic says:

    Nice one Wiggy
    RVP`s going nowhere, I`ve sent pictures to him of my handsome self and warned him to do the right thing, otherwise the pictures will be sent to his trouble and strife and she will be on the first transport to Cornwall, I will give her room “February 28 “, next to Mrs glic , room February 29 ( once every 4 years ).

  100. Red Arse says:

    TerryM,

    I agree that is a possibility. It is also an opportunity for Kroenke to give up on taking Arsenal private as Usmanov shows no sign of going away.

    Kroenke could use this as a way to ‘open up’ the shareholding, recoup some of his leveraged capital, take a nice profit but still retain a share in a larger capital base.

    Probably bollix! 🙂

  101. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    “dolorous”
    I really like that word.
    Don’t know why.

  102. herbsarmy says:

    Hi, just a quickie to say thanks for the Post WG.
    And to add you lads, RedA and Total, you absolutely smash it!
    Every time I comment my gravatar appears automatically.
    I’m busy researching the Scots influence in Southern America, no time for dooming!

  103. Red Arse says:

    Like your thinking Raddy.

    Thing is, if RVP wanted to go he would not have agreed to keep his mouth shut during the Euros. As you say, the players have all the power.

    My default position is that he will stay, but who knows?

  104. RockyLives says:

    Sweeps
    We would all wish that Arsenal had carpeted better in recent years and I happen to agree with you that a couple of signing like Arteta and Mertesacker, if they had been made a year earlier, might have pushed us over the line into Trophy Land in the 2010-11 season.

    Where I disagree is this idea that the manager is “greedy” or cares only about money. I have no doubt that AW wants to win more trophies just as much as you, me and every other Gooner.

    But for several years he was constrained financially by the stadium move and then he really believed he could win prizes with his young team built around Cesc Fabregas.

    He turned out to be wrong, but – despite the disappointments – he wasn’t that far away. Going in to the last five games of the 2010-11 season we had a real chance of the title but we blew it.

    Like a good manager should, AW learnt from those mistakes and added experience to the squad. It all happened too late to prevent us having a disastrous start to 2011-12, but I feel there are now very positive signs for the future.

    And I am convinced RvP is going nowhere. He will either sign an extension or he will be held to the final year of his contract.

  105. RockyLives says:

    *not sure where ‘carpeted’ came from – it was meant to be competed 🙂

  106. evonne says:

    RA and Total – did you know that fat Frank Lampard has an A’Level in Latin?

  107. RockyLives says:

    Herb
    The influence of Scots in southern America…?
    How about Tennessee whisky and Kentucky bourbon??? 🙂

  108. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    You mis-heard.
    He has an A level in Fattin’

  109. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, 🙂

    I would like to hear the results of your research.
    Scots have had a huge influence on the history of the world, certainly out of all proportion to the size of the country/population. 🙂

    In South America there is an amazingly thriving Welsh community in Chile (?) As if Wales had been transported there wholesale over 100 year ago.

    I saw a programme on it some time ago, but I am a bit sketchy on the detail.

  110. Double98 says:

    Sweeps – spending money in the right areas is what we have been doing.

    For all the “one men” that we sell and all the doom we have never been out of the top 4.
    despite being surrounded by 8 clubs for whom prudence is a beatles song.

    buying your titles is a risk business – Last year what if we spent 150m on 5 players – a new spine and we ended up with players that flop

    say..

    berbatov,
    veron,
    hargreaves,
    anderson
    de Gea

    What then – we would have shipped out

    RVP
    Song
    Rosicky
    Ramsay
    Chesney

    We’d a got 40 mill for that.

    So we could have spent a net 110 million on making the team worse.

    manchester city had to spend the best part of a BILLION to buy the premier league

  111. evonne says:

    Rocky – you are naughty 🙂 I have not misheard!! He is actually not stupid

  112. Sweeps says:

    For those of you I appear to have rattled, apologies for wanting a little more grit, determination and passion from both my club and players….not too much to ask really considering the amount of money I am asked to pay for my season ticket!

  113. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    I expect ‘dolorous’ to appear in your next Post! 🙂

    I am mulling over a suitable soubriquet for you, at the moment I am stuck on ‘Rambunctious Rocky’!

    Still thinking tho’ — always thinking!! 🙄

  114. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. I expect it was an Honorary A level, much like Bellamy has an Honorary Degree from Cardiff Uni.

    I have an Honorary Doctorate in Spatial Summation from the University of East Kazakstan, and M Didit told me he was once a Professor in SeaLion Husbandry.

  115. evonne says:

    Sweeps – aha, but think how much joy you get watching your beloved team. And if at any time you cannot go to a game, please give us a shout, we have a ticket fairy on this site who is always on a lookout for tickets

  116. Big Raddy says:

    sweeps. No offense given or taken I hope. Just a discussion!

    love

    Sootys

  117. evonne says:

    Raddy 🙂 🙂 I have never heard of an honorary A’Level 🙂 No, he only looks dense

  118. Sweeps says:

    Double98 Great top 4 19 points behind the title winners. Give me a break!

  119. Illybongani says:

    Greetings all…long time no see. Changed roles at work so don’t get the time to contribute. Still have a quick read when I get the chance though.

    I’m in Tenerife on a Spring break at the moment so have the time to kill. Just a couple of points from me; one player doesn’t a team make. There is no team in history that has capitulated because any one player has left. We won trophies after Brady left didn’t we? So did Manure after Ronaldo went. I firmly believe the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Look at Montpelier, no world class players but work together as a TEAM. And a good team they are. Same happens pretty regularly at Ajax. A selling team who regularly reinvent themselves and win trophies. We can do the same if RVP goes.

  120. RockyLives says:

    Illy’s back 😀

    We’ve missed you Illy

    I agree with you 100%. I’m sure RvP won’t leave this summer, but even if he did we would find another way to get our goals.

  121. Red Arse says:

    Hi Illy, 🙂

    I have been asking where you had disappeared to.

    When you say ‘changed roles’ I take it that’s promotion and not because you have changed sides? 🙂

    Hope you will still find some time to come on!

  122. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    In response I have tried to come up with an adjective for you.
    I toyed with refulgent and Rabelaisian.
    Then ragmatical and recherche.
    Finally I have settled on “Rufescent”.
    Rufescent Redders it is.
    But oh dear… that’s tautological.
    Back to the drawing board…

  123. Red Arse says:

    Illy,

    Forgot to say I agreed with your comment.

  124. glic says:

    Over 2 billion years to get from Eukaryota ( cells with nucleus ) to Homo Sapiens Sapiens ( Modern Humans ) and just a few years for the Sugar Daddies to turn footballers to the next evolutionary stage, Greedious F**kingous Bastardious Sapiens.
    I had a funny dream last night, our evolution took a wrong turn. We ended up with our Bollix on the end of our toes and our eyes where our Bollix should be. We still still had a long runny dribbly thing between our eye`s ( I think you know I could say a lot more on this subject, but I`m well restrained nowadays ) and people took a lot more care trying not to kick theirselves in the Bollix whilst walking up stairs !.

  125. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I really like all those lovely adjectives! maybe you might consider ‘rhapsodical’ or ‘resplendent’.
    Don’t want to get into the more downmarket adjectival nom de plumes —- obviously! 🙂

    Given my obstinate stance on Posts, I thought you might have plumped for Reluctant Redarse, or with my penchance for classical studies, maybe Renaissance Red?

    Still keeping you away from the more apposite but deflating adjectives. 🙄

  126. Red Arse says:

    Hi Glicster, 🙂

  127. glic says:

    Hello Genius of Arses so Red ! 🙂

  128. Illybongani says:

    Hello Redders….not gone to the dark side! Now running a wing of my own. Don’t get the chance to scratch my arse nowadays. Good thing about being on holiday is I’ve had the chance to read a couple of books, namely Merson’s How Not To Be A Professional Footballer. He tells how he spunked £7m in wages then drew his pension lump sum of £800k and gambled it away in 3 months. What a waste. Shame.

  129. Illybongani says:

    Sorry Rocky…thanks mate!

  130. evonne says:

    Sir Becks acknowledged his knighthood ‘Apparently so’

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    Sweeps, how do you think we we overcame a gap of 12 points between us and the Spuds in the last few months, other than with ‘grit, determination and passion from both my club and players…’?

    In the end, due to fatigue and injuries, they ran out of steam but this season our team showed a lot of balls.

  132. Rob Lucci says:

    Sweep, just for you..:-)

    Arsenal survived relegation by one point

    There’s not just one League in England anymore, there are two leagues. Symbiotic leagues which feed off each other, enrich each other, and ultimately enrich the billionaires and millionaires who own, operate, and play in those leagues.

    In The League you have 20 teams who play each other home and away, are awarded points for wins and draws, and the club with the most points at the end of the season wins a trophy. That League trophy is one of the most difficult things to get your hands on. In the 20 years that the League has existed just 5 teams have won: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, and Manchester City.

    In addition to winners, there are losers: and while the winners get a trophy, the losers get kicked out of the League.

    There’s also prize money awarded to each team in this League. Each place that a team finishes up the table in the League earns £755,062 cumulative. The winners receive £15m and the losers just £755,000. Already the seeds of inequality are planted. Not only do the losers get kicked out of the League but they receive a pittance in prize money.

    This League has, however, a soft spot. There are lucrative domestic and foreign television contracts which are divided equally among all 20 teams to the tune of £32.5m.² In addition, all 20 teams are guaranteed that 10 of their games will be played live on television and thus earn them an additional £5.8m.

    Among all of their various prize monies, television contracts, and other awards, the bare minimum that a League team will earn is £39m and the maximum which a team could earn is around £61m.

    And if a team is booted out of that League, there’s a “parachute payment” of £15m which is given to teams to help them fight their way back into the League. That parachute payment is reduced the year after their first year of relegation and reduced further the year after that but is still a massive payment considering the fact that the league below The League only pays out an average of £1m in prize monies.

    For many teams just being in this League is considered a huge achievement. There are two other competitions, cup competitions, that teams play in at the same time as they participate in the League: the Football Association Cup and the League Cup but more important than winning either of those two competitions is staying in the League. It’s even referred to as “survival” when a team avoids relegation because it’s the difference between life and death for some clubs.

    This doesn’t mean that winning the FA Cup or the League Cup is completely without merit. Rather that those trophies are considered “stepping stones” to larger, more important trophies such as winning the League. Winning the FA Cup is a stepping stone, staying in the League is survival.

    It’s simple math. The difference between surviving relegation from the League and winning the FA Cup is £25m. That’s £25m the club can spend on upgrading their stadium, on buying players, on training grounds, and on making their club better.

    But there’s a second league above this League. A super league if you will. And unlike the League, it’s not friendly, things aren’t shared equally, and there are no parachute payments for relegated teams. It is pure capitalism: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the have-nots are left to rot in the gutter.

    Unlike the League, there are 32 teams from the leagues all over Europe and there is no egalitarian home and away play round robin to decide the winners and losers. Teams are only guaranteed 6 games and £6m. In those six guaranteed games there are bonuses that go to teams who win (£700,000 per) or even draw (£350,000 per). Those six games are used to determine who will go into the next round with the top two teams from each group selected to the round of 16. After that, it’s a knockout competition.

    Making it to that round of 16 guarantees an additional £2.64m. That round’s prize money alone is more valuable than winning the FA Cup.

    The next round is worth £3.3m.

    The next round is worth £3.7m.

    And if you win, the prize is £7.9m.

    The total prize money up for grabs is £363,440,000. But there’s a hidden prize. One more valuable than the prize money. And completely determined by how powerful your league is. This is what this “Champions League” refers to as the “Market Pool”.

    That Market Pool prize money is worth £300m and nearly 25% of that money goes to the four teams from The League. And the League winner, the best team in the best league in all the world? The Champions League pays them 8% of the Market Pool money, or nearly £24m. Just for showing up.

    All totaled, if a team were to win all 13 of their games in the Champions League and if they were the champions from The League the payout would be £51,477,360.¹ Give or take a few pennies here and there.

    Only the top three teams from The League are guaranteed admission to the Champions League. The fourth placed team has to survive a promotion battle between another similarly placed team from a different league in Europe. This is almost exactly the same system that teams from the league below the League use to get into The League.

    For a club like Arsenal, who don’t have the backing of a man who is willing to spend £1bn to win the League, achieving third place and thus securing Champions League football is crucial, financially, to ensuring that Arsenal are even remotely competitive in the League. People wonder why Arsene Wenger prioritizes the Champions League over the FA Cup and even more so over the League Cup but it’s really quite simple.

    As I illustrated above, almost no team in England would take an FA Cup trophy if it mean that they were relegated from the League because it’s financial suicide. The same applies to the Champions League, except in an even more direct, more cut-throat, more capitalist way: there are no parachute payments to help a team get back into the Champions League.

    That’s why Liverpool have struggled for three years to get back in to the Champions League. That’s why Kenny Dalglish was fired. Winning the League Cup is meaningless if you finish 8th to a team like Liverpool who have aspirations of winning the League and getting back into the Champions League. That’s why Arsenal’s 15 consecutive years of Champions League football is a massive achievement. And that is why Arsene Wenger sat on the bench last Saturday, clutching Pat Rice, and looking like a manager whose team was on the verge of relegation.

    Because they were.

    Times have changed in The League. The old days when winning the FA Cup meant something have all but disappeared. At most it’s seen as a stepping stone to bigger and better things as Manchester City used it last year. But a manager would certainly never risk relegation from the Champions League places to win it.

    Remember that next time someone tells you they would rather finish 8th and win the FA Cup: 8th place is relegation.

    7amkickoff

  133. Gooner In Exile says:

    It’s always interesting reading the comments over the day.

    I wonder whether some are not looking at PV4s departure in the right way and perhaps he views the club and Arsene differently.

    What if he feels betrayed by Arsene, Arsene convinced him to stay twice and then flogged him to Juve when he decided he wasn’t up to it anymore.

    Just a question.

  134. GunnerN5 says:

    Sweeps,

    Our grit, determination and passion is also known as Spurs gifting us 3rd place by only getting a paltry 16 points out of their last 39.

  135. jnyc says:

    Guys someone please tell me whats going on with rvp. I thought tthat if we made a competetive offer ( taking into account loyalty bonuses ) and told him aerious signing plans, he would be happy to stay.
    ——if its true that things went so badly, i dont think the money couldve been the issue. I am afraid we are not going to upgrade if he is not happy with the conversation. Not good signs in general. I expected us to tell him the financial offer, and then tell him whats in the works on transfers.
    —— I hope these are all untrue reports, because im shocked that things could have gone so badly.

  136. evonne says:

    Rob Lucci ???? that is a fantastic rant!! Cheers!! I am going to read it again, it is so bloody good

  137. goonermichael says:

    I#m really out of the loop at the moment. Why was viera talking about Arsenal again?

  138. Red Arse says:

    Rob,

    I think I would like to meet Tim from 7amkickoff! Excellent!

    We all talk loosely of Chelsea or Shitty spending a billion pounds sterling on buying players. But what is a billion?

    Most of us will never know what it feels like to own £1,000,000, let alone a billion.
    So what is a billion? Well a billion is 1,000 * £1 million!

    Which looks like this £1,000,000,000. (one thousand million).

    So when you think that over 7 years and 4 years respectively, both Chelsea and Citeh spent approximately £1,000,000,000 (one thousand million pounds) each in buying players and developing their footballing infrastructures, and Arsenal made a transfer surplus (income greater than expenditure) of approximately £10 million.

    Just puts Arsene Wenger’s achievements into perspective, doesn’t it?

    Let’s have a look at that again!

    Chelsea SPEND on players etc ………………………….. £1,000,000,000
    Citeh SPEND on players etc ………………………………. £1,000,000,000
    Arsenal net INCOME from transfers …………………… (£ …10,000,000)

    This season’s results; Citeh 1st, Arsenal 3rd, Chelsea 6th.

    If I was Abramovich I would hire Arsene and save myself £1,010,000,000. (one thousand and ten million pound).

    Wenger —- what does he know??

  139. evonne says:

    GM – he wants to come back to THOF

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    So Rodgers this year has declined press speculation by Chelsea, and has now rejected moves by Liverpool (according to a Swansea club statement). Loyalty….a long forgotten commodity.

    I think he is waiting for Arsene to retire 🙂

  141. dandan says:

    Red Arse My wife and I visited the welsh communities in Argentina and Chile a couple of years ago. On board our ship were a number of welsh folk both crew and passenger, who as we left port after our visit gathered on the fordeck and Sang “Land of my Fathers” to those South Americans of welsh descent. Who waved us off. If you want a great part of the world to visit that not many see, go down to Patagonia its a magic part of the world.

  142. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Thats the spirit WG…cracking post.

    I had an email yesterday written by someone at 7.30 am bemoaning the lack of news about the prevous days discussions. They went on to say that this would now drag on all summer.

    All I could think was Wow…people actually wake up with thoughts as negative as that.

    Times like that I really give thanks for who I am….

    I really want RVP to stay, and whilst I klnow that I cannot nfluence it, I’ll simply wait to see how it turns out. I’m certainly not going to let it set the tone for each of my days til we know for sure one way or the other.

    Don’t even start me on the twitter loons already calling him a traitor…lol

  143. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Dandan…magical world or mad world…?? Welshie’s in Argentina clinging to their roots via rugby and a few other things. The north of Argentina is fantastic as well. Buenos Aires is my fave place on earth (not that I’m very well travelled)

    Everyone should see Iguassu (alt. Iguacu) falls before they die.

    My fave ‘lost tribe’ are the Germans in Jamaica !!

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, I am really impressed with Rodgers – what a character, full of self-belief! 🙂

  145. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rodgers is a class act, a man of principles.

    In my earlier rants about modern game loyalty and Viera etc i forgot to add that this why looking on the outside i admire Arsene Wenger so much. He strikes me as a man of dignity and ethics, but thats not it. What i love about Arsene is that he is a visonary. Hes not tempted by the lure of bigger bucks or working at a club were he has a transfer fund the size of Citys. He has a plan for Arsenal and feels a responsibility to see it through. Despite the let downs of players leaving, irate fans, hostile press and having to cope with a transitional phase for the club, he is still here.

    It hurts when, people like Sweeps, who seems like a good gooner say things like Wenger is conning the fans, nothing could be further from the truth. A man of loyalty and dignity, a true Arsenal man who is prepared to sacrifice personal glory so he can steer the club forward.The last seven years has not been about winning trophies, its been a period were the club has needed a great manager to steer us through rocky waters, and thats what we have had. Whilst others have jumped ship and left us upset, the one constant has been the guiding hand of Arsene, who will lead the club to safe ground.

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    Nigel Reo-Coler has exercised the release clause in his contract (I guess if they got relegated). Bolton are also releasing a few others. He only joined this season on a free.

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post Wigan,
    The proof being the amount of quality comments it inspired yesterday. Well done, and thanks.

  148. Makumisky says:

    I know I’m late for this, but, I will state.

    The Robbin Vampire is playing dangerous. The same game played by Reyes Flamini, Merida, Fabregas, Ade & their ilk. Some advice to you vampurssy, where is Reyes today? What of flamini,Merida N Fabrigas? Can you believe that fab and Na$ri were mostly on the benches? YOU MOVE OUT, YOU END UP ON THE BENCH FOR A YEAR. And at your age & injury history you’ll be garbage.

    Am not an expert but i guess the only player who left arsenal and truly profited from moving was King Henry. Its important to note that HE WENT WITH THE FANS BLESSING. Look at him now, the man is a legend in football, and a god in arsenal. There is a greeksque statue to prove that.

    Robin, choose wisely. You dont want to be ‘just-another-arsenal-player’.

    IF I WERE YOU, I`D LEAVE THE DUTCH FIELD FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS CALL WENGER AND SIGN THE GOODDAMN CONTRACT. Else robbin, the curse will fall on you. Time’s running out.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a thought. Maybe Arsenal cannot decide about Robin until after Euros and the injury scare has passed. Offers may be dependent. If I were City or Real, I’d wait.

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Genuine question. If Club A receive an offer from Club B for a player but the player does not want to go to Club B, can Club A accept the offer against the players’ wishes?

  151. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What I’m getting at is this. If Theo really is stalling, I’d flog him to Anzhi Makhachkala. In other words, dissenters get sent to Siberia 🙂

  152. evonne says:

    Morning Micky – nay, Machakala is a rich Russian club, traitors are to be sent to Greece

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Micky 🙂

    Or Coventry

  154. evonne says:

    or Tottenham 🙂

  155. Makumisky says:

    Or Rangers.

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Greece would suit Theo down to the ground. Sun, long lunches and bone idle.

  157. Makumisky says:

    Ha or Cuba

  158. barumgooner says:

    Micky, I was thinking the same thing with regard to the euros. Robin is about to go and spend some time at his favourite place to get injured..the Dutch national squad. Me thinks maybe his bargaining powers might be a bit less come July. All that aside he is a great player, and I believe, a loyal gunner. He’ll still be with us next year !

  159. evonne says:

    I have just lost my temper completely!! I am so angry!! Someone has told me about a conversation in a pub last night. This person spoke to another, who claims that he lives next door to Wenger and that van Persie will leave this summer. WHY THE FECK PEOPLE EVEN BOTHER LISTENING TO SUCH UTTER BOLLOX?? And then repeating it to me as something I might want to hear.

    Can you imagine, Wenger leaves his house and walks to the nearest bust stop. On the way he stops and discusses details of the contract negotiations of his top player with a neighbour!!! Yeah, right, very plausible

  160. Big Raddy says:

    Or Poland & Ukraine

  161. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. That is very funny. Imagine being so lacking that you have to make up stories to try and be interesting

    Was he Spurs?

  162. evonne says:

    Raddy!! Poland is a very beautiful country, hardly a punishment for traitors. People are bit strange, but I guess them (strange people and Polaks~) everywhere

  163. evonne says:

    Raddy – I didn’t think it was funny. I am still angry. That’s how gossips star circulating; some cretins would believe them, pass them on; some other idiot will start calling RvP names on Twitter (as SS pointed out) and that can actually influence Robin’s decision.

    I wasn’t there, otherwise there would be blood. But you right it was either a complete half wit or someone who would love to hurt the Club.

    I gave the gossip teller good dressing down, don’t expect to hear from him for a long time

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Barum,
    Believe me, I want Robin to stay. However, my feelings remain that if we are continuing with the “need to sell to buy” policy and an offer comes in at £25m+, then he’s off. That would be a board decision, not AW or Robin. Who knows. Time will tell and life will go on.

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    After an unhealthy amount of thought, it has to be Bayern for me. However, the appeal of Spuds out of the CL was incredibly strong.

  166. barumgooner says:

    Yes and with a business head on, to sell a player who has had one injury free season in the last seven years for £25m would be exactly the right decision. From the footballing perspective it concedes defeat that The Arsenal are no longer a favourite but an also-ran and the whole team morale and confidence takes yet another hit.

  167. barumgooner says:

    Bayern to win and spuds to go out in the preliminary round.

  168. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Barum,
    I know exactly what you are saying, but while some talk of how unlucky we have been with injuries, I’d argue we have been unbelievably lucky. Where would we have finished had Robin sustained injury periods for an “average Robin injury period season?”

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Or to put it another way, would we be stronger replacing the whole Robin Package (sell fee, bonus, sign on again + wages) with an M’Vila type, Podolski and another Ba type striker?
    I think we would and it would better spread our risk exposure to a Robin injury.
    Naturally, I want to keep Robin and sign the rest 🙂

  170. evonne says:

    Micky and Barum – it’s a win-win situation. Chavs lose we laugh 🙂 Chavs win we laugh even more 🙂 No matter what the outcome, the bad guys will suffer tonight

  171. Makumisky says:

    Sell robbin and bring Holt. Norwich’s style isnt very different from Arsenal’s. Better still check Papiss out. Pardew is going to be a Kop anyway.

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very true Evonne.
    Although I’ve come down on the side of denying Chavs a CL, I honestly think that if Spuds are out of the CL next season, they will drop like a stone. The loss of income combined with the lack of appeal for recruits together with the impending stadium development costs will be the end of them.
    However…..I do like the competition from our neighbours and then having a meaningful St T’s day. Every season 🙂

  173. barumgooner says:

    Haha Micky me too. Its fair to say that Robin has been pivotal but it mustn’t be forgotten just how important Arteta has been this year. To me he would have a good case for afc player of the season and him being disciplined has allowed Song to go looking for the glory-balls he has become so fond of. We were desparately unlucky to have all 4 full-backs injured together but obviously the dis-organised half-assed pre-season is what truly screwed up our start. Whether RVP stays and gives us goals or leaves and gives us cash i dont know but I do hope its not the only thing on Arsenes mind like last year. I’m still hoping for Leighton Baines and M’vlla myself.

  174. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Poland & Ukraine …… because Theo is going to the Euro’s … wake up!

    BM and Spurs draw Udinese.

  175. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, my last word on Robin is that I think all parties will wait until after the Euros. If he’s injured, no-one will bid for him, and we won’t have to bribe him to stay with silly money re-signing on fees.

  176. Big Raddy says:

    We get this every season – you would think we would be used to it by now.

    Let’s just wallow in the excellent achievement of finishing 3rd after our worst start to a season since Kelsey was a boy

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    I’ve finished wallowing. Time to move on, and anyway I love all the speculation.

  178. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I always loved the story about Roy Keane apparently sulking in the dressing room after a CL win as he felt the team had played badly.
    A case of extreme no-wallowing I know, but still like that attitude.

  179. dandan says:

    Hi Sharkey, like you I love Buenos Aires it’s like Paris but better, lovely wide boulevards, superb Restaurants serving steaks to die for and so cheap. Last time I was there a guide was showing me Eve Peron’s grave, whilst England were playing Argentina at football, he said that it was a draw at the time, I thanked him gave him a tip and set off for my car, next thing I know he is banging on the window telling me, with a big smile Ingles’ have scored, you have won.
    Drop further down the coast to Ushuaia known as the end of the world and see the Andes’ sweeping down to the sea, Patagonia is just magnificent.

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Way too much from me. Bye.

  181. Morning all

    Gosh we’ve got weeks of wallowing!!!!!!

    Makumisky – maybe it would have been an idea to put a ‘decision making’ spell on Robin six months ago. I think the board should have pushed him into contract negotiations earlier sighting the Euros as a reason for needing to sort business out quickly.

    The romantic idea of him suddenly deciding in the middle of the competition that he wanted to sign the deal is rather appealing though 🙂

  182. OMG – don’t look at NewsNow, it’s scary ……. the top stories headlines include ‘Robin tells Wenger he wants to go’ and ‘Van Persie will stay’ what’s a gooner to do?????????

  183. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. just get wallowing 🙂

  184. But Micky’s had his last word Raddy 😉 not!!!

  185. Whispers it quietly before the new post goes up – I wish it was us in Munich 😦

  186. New Post …………….

  187. Gooner In Exile says:

    “Sell Robin Get Holt”

    Irony….surely!

    Morning all.

    Was thinking more about Rodgers last night, and other managers who have achieved what he has at an early age.

    If he looked at those that jumped ship to the next big thing, his decision to stay at Swansea is easy. You look at Liverpool and Chelsea’s manager turnover in the last few years and then look at your own secure job where you are loved. You then look at the managers like Bruce who have always looked for the next step and ask where they are now. It’s why I’m surprised Lambert seems to be hot favourite for Villa and he hasn’t come out and said no. Just why would you make a sideways step, it’s incomparable to the Colchester to Norwich switch, that was after a one game freak result. Colchester are a smaller club than Norwich, Norwich have as loyal a following as Villa, the city is full of yellow shirts and the owners are loyal.

  188. Nope it’s not, seems GiE put a curse on the new post and I didn’t notice – back in a bit

  189. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches, check the post time, I’ll fix it if you like

  190. It’s weird GiE, you can get to it from NewsNow but not if you press the Home button – I’ll change the time

  191. Ok, done it now

    New Post …………..

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