Why I’m Loving Van Persie Now

So the melodrama is over.

Brave Sir Robin returned to the club that stood faithfully by his side in sickness and in, er, more sickness.

He walked on to the pitch through a guard of honour. He got booed by most of the home supporters. He took a few kicks and gave a few kicks. He scored.


That’s it folks… all over, nothing to see here.

I still have mixed feelings about BSR. I completely understand why many fans are angry that he chose to leave (and that the club sold him to Manchester United, of all people).

But I also appreciate the great memories I have from the one proper season he gave us during his Arsenal career: all those “did you see that?” goals; all those volleyed finishes from Alex Song golf chips. It’s just a shame it turned out to be his last season with us.

Anyway, the dust has now settled on his return to The Home Of Football and we can get back to worrying about the important business of winning our final three games.

The problem is, it’s not as simple as that, is it?

We don’t just have to worry about our own games, we also worry about those of the teams competing with us for third and fourth spots in the Premier League.

And this is why I have decided to become a Robin lover again. It won’t be with the passion that I once had for him and I can guarantee it won’t be a long-lasting affair. In fact, it will be all over by 6pm on Sunday.

Because shortly before then the referee will have blown the final whistle to end Manchester United’s home fixture against Chelsea. And I am sincerely hoping that Brave Sir Robin, who has been in superb scoring form for two full seasons, will have done us an immense favour by banging home a hat trick against the Chavs.

If United beat Chelsea, it will give us some additional margin for error in our run in. Hopefully we won’t need that margin and we will spank QPR, Wigan and Newcastle in turn to guarantee a top four finish, but even then, it might make the difference between third and fourth place.

I hope that United will put in a proper amount of commitment and effort against Chelsea.

The Purple Conked Gorbalian has said that they will. He talked of “honouring” Chelsea’s rivals for the Champions League places by competing properly, but I have my doubts.

They have won the league already at a canter and, psychologically, I just can’t see them being as committed as they should be.

In fact, the “Van Persie returns to Arsenal for the first time since joining United” sideshow probably worked against us at the weekend. It fired up the crowd and added spice to the occasion.

Arsene Wenger said that our players started with such energy and bite because of the way they had prepared. That may be part of it, but I have no doubt that the heightened passion of the crowd also played a part.

It encouraged our boys to snap into tackles, win the second balls and harass United all over the pitch.

But if you start bullying people, eventually you’re likely to provoke a response. The United players, being the competitive people they are, could not help but be roused into fighting back eventually.

But when they entertain the Chavs it will be a very different matter. It will be a game played in front of a complacent home crowd who don’t really care what the result is. Many will have consumed a fair few drinks on the way up from Surrey and – if it’s a nice afternoon – will probably doze through the match.

Let’s face it, the place is hardly a hotbed of atmosphere at the best of times. If the Emirates is a library, Old Toilet is a mausoleum. Without the fun.

In other words, I wouldn‘t be at all surprised if Chelsea come away with all three points.

My only hope is that Brave Sir Robin himself, despite the abuse he received from his former worshipers on Sunday, will feel he owes it to us to try and help us get a top four place.

I hope that his friends in the Arsenal dressing room – the ones he was so eager to pop in and see after scoring against them at the weekend – have urged him to do his bit.

How ironic would it be if goals from Robin van Persie played a part in keeping us in the Champions League next year?



130 Responses to Why I’m Loving Van Persie Now

  1. brad hyde says:

    we do just need to worry about our games, we win all 3 we finish in the top 4 . Am I right or wrong ?

  2. Rasp says:

    Great post Rocky, I’m not so sure I’d use the term ‘Loving’ but then I was never hating BSR. If I was his dad, I’d have told him to make the move last summer. I believe he was told when he signed his previous contract that the club would invest in top quality players to play alongside him … and that didn’t really happen 😦

    There are numerous scenarios involving ex players and ex managers doing another team a ‘favour’ in the run in. I’m sure the spud fans want ‘arry to do them a favour when we play QPR.

    Villa winning last night will put the pressure on Wigan to get the points when they play us.

    Win our last 3 games and we’ll make top four …. and none of those games will be easy.

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Apologies to Rocky for ignoring what I am sure is a post well worthy of his talents but there is a very important news item today.

    Today’s Telegraph is running a front page story about the PSG hierarchy saying they are confident that Arsene Wenger will join them in the summer. There are certain minor points of contention however, 1) Mourinho must leave Real Madrid, 2) Ancellotti must leave PSG to replace Mourinho, 3) Wenger must renege on his Arsenal contract which has a year to run. 3) may not be the problem it appears as it is being rumoured that the final year is optional.

    PSG would be a very attractive proposition for Le Professeur, based in the capital city of his home country, the only Ligue 1 team in Paris and nine points clear at the top of the league they are assured of Champions League football next season. Qatari owned and financed by oil revenues they can afford to buy the best and pay the wages to keep them.

    Wenger is widely respected in France and would not suffer the constant criticism and sniping that he has to endure from the English press.

    Has he gone as far as he can at Arsenal? Will he go? Maybe to the first, and I think so to the second.

  4. Sav from Australia says:

    Hi Rocky,

    I heard about this story about RVP going to the changing rooms after the match. I have to say that man really irritates me.

    I saw this link on another website, of Gibbs staring daggers at ‘him’.

    I wish that sentiment was shared by more of the squad, especially the ones that have been around for a while.

  5. Rasp says:

    Morning NG, I think this is just paper talk. I don’t believe for one minute that AW will leave for PSG in the summer. I predict he will see out his contract and any decision by him and the Board after that will be dependent upon how effective we are in the summer transfer market and how the team performs next season.

  6. Manthan says:

    Great post RL,

    Like Rasp said even I agree on same point. Because we didn’t spend big he thought moving to other club will be best opportunity to win something. But I don’t agree with RL regarding RVP favouring us by scoring against chavs If we win rest 3 matches we will be CL next season. We don’t need any favour 😉

  7. Manthan says:

    Yesterday Sunderland were shit agaisnt Villa. Wigan have to win next match now.. It will tough for us but neverthless if we play with same intensity we will win easily 😉

  8. Pard says:

    if the Chavs beat United, and Sp*ds then beat the Chavs, we can finish outside the top 4 even if we win all our 3 games…so here’s to the temporary BSR support!

  9. Manthan says:

    What is possibility of spurs and chavs winning rest 3 matches??

  10. Pard says:

    Unlikely I know, but Wigan and Newcastle will be scrapping for their lives as well especially given the Villa result last night.

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I think it’s more than just paper talk Rasp, there could well be something in it this time. Arsene is 63, his chance of winning the ultimate club competition with Arsenal is problematic to say the least. It will take more than one summer transfer window to transform our current squad into Champions League winners.

    By moving to PSG he will be taking on a winning side, able to offer Champions League football to ambitious new players and he will have almost unlimited funds available for transfer fees and wages.

    He could well win the trophy he has always wanted in the next couple of seasons and retire in triumph rather than in disappointment, which I am sad to say will be his lot if he remains for much longer at Arsenal.

  12. Morning all, a provocative point of view there Mr Rock and while you expalin your argument well as you might expect I’ll beg to differ.

    I suspect not only will VanJudas continue his traditional end of season slump in goalscoring(barring the last 2 games) for the Old Toilet front bottoms final 4 games, but claret conk will probably only use him as a sub as the title has been won and that sweaty git would like nothing more than to screw us over.

    Don’t expect any help whatsoever from ManUre and their band of glory hunting plastic, supporter/scumbuckets.

    And finally, yes I do hate VanJudas and I’ll never come close to forgiving him for the trechery of his exit and susbsequent posturing since, he’s got his 40 pieces of silver and he can go rot in hell for all I care.

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Absolutely right Chary, I’m with you all the way!

  14. Red Arse says:


    That’s an interesting news item, but le Prof has been denying it, and he has always been a man of his word.

    I suspect PSG want him, like Real and Barca before them, but he has always rejected these approaches.

    He has had to put up with so much crap over the last few years, both from the owners, and many fans, that If I was him — I’d go!

    With PSG shaping up to being another Man Citeh money bags transfer spenders, AW would win the lot.

  15. kelsey says:

    Excusing me for not joining in lately but I have limited Internet for the next 10 days as we are moving again.

    I won’t go over all the scenarios again but I honestly believe that there is more wrong than right going on at the club from Kroenke downwards.
    We have a weak squad with a number of first teamers who are carrying an injury or are injury prone., yet when you see “the old Rosicky” Wenger pulls him off.

    The key to a top 4 is Chelsea beating Spurs. I see us winning against Wigan, losing to QPR whose fate is already sealed and drawing with Newcastle and I prediuct we will get 66 points equal with Spurs but with a better goal difference.
    Strange we are leading joint goal scorers at Home but have a poor ratio of wins compared to the other top clubs.
    Failure to score against Everton and generally in our last few important games at Home has shown the need for a clinical striker.
    We have too many attacking players who drift in and out of games or can’t play 90 minutes otherwise known as cameo players.
    Should Wenger go? Well that depends on finance available and I have little faith in Kroenke splashing the cash.
    All in all a disapointing season even though the record shows we have had a decent run lately yet I honestly believe that Wenger has lost the touch to motivate the players and his buying of some players recently has been poor.

  16. Regarding the other topic, I think it’s just more agent talk from Wenger’s advisors to solidify his place here and remind Silent Stan how important he is. Wenger going to PSG, with his views on FFP/financial doping, would be hypocrisy of the worst type.

    Thanks Norfolk – I’m not going to be magnanimous when it comes to the Dutch “person” who used to play for us.

    I know we shouldn’t cheer Monkey man winning the PFA award(s) but if it stops you know who from getting it then I’ll swallow that bitter pill.

  17. Red Arse says:


    I seem to be with Rasper on this. I never ‘loved’ Rocky when he was at the Arsenal, but I admired his skills and was very content that he was ‘our’ player.

    The first part remains constant, and the second is irrelevant.

    Of course, I understand you were using the expression as poetic licence, but there are, I suspect, fans who did love RVP, as AW has said, and perhaps that is why they are so vitriolic now.

    [Except for CharyB – who just hates him and old purple conk!] 🙂

    If Rip van Winkle does help us to qualify for Europe by scoring against Chelsea, that will be just incidental from his point of view, as I doubt he cares one way or the other.

  18. Wass says:

    Or his 2 goals against us will keep us out of it

  19. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, 🙂

    It is lovely to have you back on this bright, sunny, cheerful day, because we could do with a good healthy dose of your doom and gloom just to balance things out!! 😀

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I know we don’t know what is really going on in the club but the chances of Silent Stan actually splashing the cash seem remote to me. Earlier in the season “it was reported” that £70 million would be available. Earlier this week “it was reported” that that figure had dropped to £50 million.

    Wenger, I would hope, does know what’s going on and must be aware of the real transfer budget. He must also know what he needs to do to bring the squad up to scratch and whether or not that budget will be sufficient.

    If as “has been reported” the final year of his contract is optional and he feels that the budget is insufficient then I can see him declining the optional year and leaving with his record of not breaking a contract, and his reputation intact. And I wouldn’t for one minute blame him.

  21. Redders, what better way for VanJudas to vindicate his departure than to see us fail to qualify for the Champions League, thereby showing we “lack ambition” – he would, Keegan-styley, “just love it” if that happened.

    BTW,why have you never loved Rocky? He’s a diamond geezer ! 🙂

  22. BTW, guess who’s reffing the ManUre Chavs game ?

    Yes, you guessed it – Howard “Fergie’s rent boy” Webb.

    Suppose the FA had to make sure they had ManUre’s 12th man on the ptich if their darling Man Utd hadn’t secured the title by then.

  23. boshbish says:

    If this is true..then Wenger must feel there is no chance of an Usmanov/ Dein takeover. RVP was the last world class player of the Dein era. Our current team needs two or three top players…this has been said many times over the last 8 years. Wenger deserves a proper crack at Champions League success. Time is running out for him….. can he wait for the boards promise to the future clap trap or FFP to kick in and take effect?. There was a message to the board from RVP when he left…I doubt they have listened. If and when Wenger goes fellow gooners take comfort that Hill Wood will remain and the so called self sustaining model will continue to bring unparalleled success.

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning All, Rocky this might just be about United having a Champions walk in the park now they cannot surpass Chelsea’s record, how strange that if we had lost Sunday we would be probably think we were in a better position as United would surely be giving everything to win and beat that record on Sunday and the point lost would have been irrelevant as both Chelsea and Spuds would have been behind us going in to their match against each other. That and provided we had won 3 from 3 would have given is top 4.

    Now the other major factor that I hope will give Fergie inventive to send out his team to win is that he still hates Rafa and won’t let his side roll over for him.

  25. “I want my van Persie”… [snivel]
    “Why did my Robin leave us?… [whinge]
    “I hate you, I hate you”… [whine]

    …same old, same old…

  26. I wonder what Spectrum is up to nowadays ?

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell “RvP was the one world class player left from the Dein era” are you serious? He was bought as a talented and troubled youngster nowhere near achieving anything where he could be called World Class. When we sign a player like that now it’s frowned upon by supporters. This is the most one-eyed hindsight comment I have see for some time.

    And can someone show me anything that says Dein has retained any kind of working relationship with Usmanov?

    Here’s my prediction about Dein.

    PHW has suffered recent bouts of ill health. Dein also was the man who brought Kroenke in lest we forget, so what are the chances of Dein being appointed Chairman a job I believe he would take in a heartbeat.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another fine read. Thankfully I have never pined after an ex-lover.

    Had I been RvP I would have left as well – twice the money, a better team, bigger ground, high chance of silverware – it was an easy decision if one takes out the emotional element.

    They are all just hired-hands and a belief in loyalty is misplaced. The fans are the only true Gunners.

  29. evonne says:

    What a great point you made Rocky! Never thought of it in this context. Absolutely, go for it Robin you beauty!!
    I think Fergie was hoping for a CL trophy this season too. So let’s hope that stupid Chavs will sing their ‘We know who we are, champions of Europe …bla bla bla bla’, which ought to irritate the Mancs and spur them to giving the blues proper spanking. Lovely, everybody here happy

    I believe the rumour about PSG wanting Wenger, who wouldn’t? But I do not buy the rumour that AW wants to leave this summer. He has not finished the job at the Arsenal yet, he won’t leave on a bad note, no way. Being French he could start waving a white flag, but his Strassbourg German genes will make him stay and fight to the end, I am sure of it.

  30. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just to illustrate my point above if we had lost Sunday we would have max possible total of 72 points

    Chavs would have max of 77, Spuds 75

    If United were incentivised to win Sunday the more likely position before we take the Chav/ Spuds game into account would be

    Chavs on 71 points and Spuds on 72 points. So a winner takes all from that game, hopefully it will still happen, but in truth I hope Stoke give Spuds a spanking on the weekend after.

  31. evonne says:

    GiE – you are right, we have youngsters who are more than capable of achieving RvP’s standards. Personally I thing Giroud will become a star, perhaps even bigger than the Judas. His first season was already better than the former captain’s and he seems to be physically stronger. If he spends less time than you-know-who on the physio’s bed, he will outplay you-know-who in no time, for sure

  32. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey- Looking forward to at least a couple of posts in 10 days time 😀

  33. Sorry goonermichael, missed your post to me yesrerday… just seen it now.
    goonermichael says:
    April 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm
    “Big Al if you are still around. Watch this and tell me Sagna didn’t touch the ball.”

    “Goonermichael if you are still around. Watch this and tell me Sagna touched the ball.”

    The CLOSEUP is what you need to concentrate on.

  34. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Big Al and Goonermichael,, and the premiership want to bring in video replays! What a joke?

  35. Hello
    Hope everyone is ok not been posting for a while.
    Much debate about RVP I’m over him leaving now and have moved on with my life.

    Wenger to PSG at the end of the season it my happen I for one won’t be surprised if he left us
    That would make splendid news for me .
    And I think we will make the CL position this season and that will be his swan song .
    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™

  36. Shard says:

    The best rumours always have a degree of plausibility. They are still rumours. I’ve never heard of a contract having an option to reduce a year, only extend it. It’s the first we’ve heard of it since Wenger last signed the contract all those years ago. I call nonsense on that bit.

    As to him going to PSG. He definitely won’t before 2014. I suspect he’ll want to stay another 2-3 years beyond that and finish his job with us before taking any other job. The owners of PSG are close to Wenger. Apparently they have a good social relationship. I remember, I think some time last year, when Wenger said yes that is true, but that doesn’t mean he will go work for them. Sometimes it is better for your friendship if you do not also have a professional relationship, he added.

    I don’t think he intends to give in to the abuse and criticism either. He obviously likes his job here. He enjoys the work, and I think unlike Van Persie and co. he actually truly believes in winning medals by working for them rather than simply guaranteeing them.

    A part of me that wishes Wenger well, wants him to go to PSG and win the lot just to prove his detractors wrong. But I think Arsenal will be much better off with him at the helm than without, and for that selfish reason, I want him to stay for the forseeable future.

    Now to the actual post. Maybe that is why Wenger allowed Van Persie into the dressing room. Use some emotional cajoling to get him to beat Chelsea. “Remember how John Terry ate grass last season?” Arteta might say. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if something like that happened again?” “You still hate Spurs right? Adebayor nearly blinded you. Surely you wouldn’t want to see him happy again” Wilshere might add.

    Van Persie is still a c***. But needs must. Here’s hoping he scores and wins against the chavs. That we win all our games and finish 3rd. That Van Persie has a good summer’s rest before starting next season with a bang, and a pop in his knee, leaving him out for virtually the entire season except the last match where he’ll be fit just in time to give us the guard of honour. Did I mention he was a c***?

  37. Norfolk Gooner, re post at 12.35pm
    Yeah… how much time would be devoted to such incidents, and from how many camera angles?

    There was some division yesterday on this site: “penalty/no penalty”.
    In fairness to those who said “NO penalty” even after reviewing videos on the internet, some videos “suggest” Sagna touched the ball.

    Most who looked at Goonermichael’s link to me yesterday would probably have said that Sagna almost certainly touched the ball. And when I looked at Goonemichael’s videolink myself I’m not surprised that he and others felt Sagna had played the ball first.
    Quite deceptive.

    However, when you see MY link (closeup) at a perfect camera angle there’s no doubt that Sagna did not play the ball.
    Also interesting,of course, is Sagna’s body language/facial expression. He knew the truth and didn’t contest the decision.

  38. Shard says:

    Big Al

    It was still a penalty in my opinion, but Sagna did get a touch on the ball.

  39. goonermichael says:

    Big Al. I didn’t say it wasn’t a penalty. He clearly touches the ball though unless 101 have doctored that clip. Where is the close up. I’m at work and can’t go through all the clips.

    I hate van persie. I find it easy to hate people and I actually enjoy it. I don’t really care why he left TBH. Why did he walk out last?

    I can see the chavs spanking them. They are a better team and with a better manager and a couple of players I think they’ll piss it next season

  40. fredey says:

    Anyone can win the lot if it’s backed up by a wealthy benefactor, Mourinho’s been doing it for years. In fact Wenger’s resume would suggest he’d be better served as a Cheque Book Manager. Unless Arsenal change and become big players in the transfer market they will be doomed with or preferably without Wenger.

  41. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    Well done for those who spotted that this is not a Post about van Persie, but rather one about the run-in.

    Pard said earlier that if the Chavs beat ManUre and the Spuds beat the Chavs, we will finish outside the top four even if we win all three remaining games.

    Is he right? I thought we were safe if we were to win all three.

  42. Red Arse says:

    Thanks CharyB for pointing out my typo earlier.

    I meant Robin, not Rocky. 🙂

  43. RockyLives says:

    In fact, I can now answer my own question, having bothered to check.

    Pard is right.

    We are not guaranteed top four if results pan out the way he suggests.

    Chavs and Spuds would both end up with 74 points and we would have 73.

    So, contrary to what seems to be the common perception, it is not in our own hands.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Was that Emma Freud’s slip, Redders?

  45. Red Arse says:

    Rock a doodle dooo,

    As It stands:

    Chelsea = 65 points
    Arsenal = 64 points
    Spurs = 62 points

    — If we win our remaining 3 games we will have 73 points
    — If Chelsea lose to Spurs and win the other 3 they will have 74 points.
    — If Spurs win their remaining 4 games they will have 74 points.

    Pard (?) was right.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Continuing the logic, the one result we DON’T want in the Scum of London Derby (El Crapico) is a Spud win.

    If the Chavs win (and everyone wins all their other games) it ends:
    Chavs 77
    Arse 73
    Spuds 71

    If it’s a draw and everyone wins all their remaining games:
    Chavs 75
    Arse 73
    Spuds 72

    Of course, all these calculations will go out the window when all three of us lose this weekend 🙂

  47. Red Arse says:

    That silly Sagna penalty may yet cost us, Rocky. 😦

  48. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Not quite Rocky, Arsenal can get a maximum of 73 points, Chelsea can get a maximum of 74 points, Spurs can get a maximum of 74 points but as Chelsea and Spurs have to play each other neither can reach the maximum so either could finish with 71, or if the game is a draw they both finish with 72.

  49. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Ignore my last, Chavs can get 77, back to the abacus

  50. phil says:

    Can’t anybody add up Chelsea have a maximum of 12 pts to play for leaving them with 77 pts

  51. Hi goonermichael

    The CLOSEUP is what you need to concentrate on.

    OK… try the 2nd one down. Three blokes in the studio (BBC).
    07.40 mins. You can click forward to the section you want (the close-up). Hold your cursor on the band to see the time.

    You can of course hit the “pause” button at bottom left hand corner.

    Then get on with your work! 🙂

  52. RockyLives says:

    can’t anybody read?

    We are discussing the “what if” scenario based on the Chavs LOSING to the Spuds but winning their other three games.

    Keep up son.

  53. phil says:

    Red Arse are you still moonlighting over on bergkampesque.

  54. RockyLives says:

    “Silly” is the word.

    Watching it again you can see that BSR had a really tight angle for shooting, Szcz was well positioned and we had our two CBs in the area covering the cutback.

    If Bac had not dived in, BSR might have scored – but it would have had to be a brilliant strike – maybe a one in ten chance.

    The penalty made it a nine-out-of-ten.

  55. phil says:

    I am sure you are the same Red Arse, anyway it’s good to read that you are wavering over Wenger’s tenure as Manager of Arsenal football club.

  56. RockyLives says:

    It is indeed the one and only Red Posterior.
    He spreads his favours far and wide so as not to disappoint his army of fans 🙂

  57. phil says:

    Fair play to him for wanting an Usmanov take over, he belatedly realised that Wenger can’t deliver the goods.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Did he say that Phil?

    I didn’t see that comment.

  59. phil says:

    Yer over on bergkampesque

  60. RockyLives says:

    Okey dokey.

    I’m not sure an Usmanov takeover would make a huge amount of difference, particularly with the new FFP rules.

    We also have no idea how tight or otherwise he would be with his money. It’s easy to talk the talk when you’re not dipping your hand in your pocket.

  61. phil says:

    Usmanov’s got deep pockets he’ll spend.

  62. Red Arse says:


    Close your eyes, unless you have already seen this announcement from Usmanov, in Moscow.

    — Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov will consider his strategy for the soccer club by the end of the season, saying majority owner Stan Kroenke “doesn’t show any wish” to create a winning team.

    “The team has no superstars now,” Usmanov, Russia’s richest man, said in an interview in Moscow. Should the team finish fourth in England’s Premier League this season, Kroenke “would probably be happy.”

    Kroenke, an American who also owns the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, took control of the north London club in 2011 after acquiring stakes owned by two former board members.

    Usmanov and his partner Farhad Moshiri, who together control 30 percent of the club, said they want to boost their stake and criticized the team’s board for its financial decisions after captain Robin van Persie didn’t extend his contract. The Dutch forward moved to Manchester United, where he is the league’s leading scorer and helped the team win the title this season.

    Arsenal declined to comment on Usmanov’s statements about Kroenke’s ownership, referring to an October statement from Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis that Kroenke and other board members had a “shared ambition” to win trophies. The Gunners haven’t won a trophy since the 2005 F.A. Cup.

    Arsenal, a 13-time English soccer champion, is in the fourth place in the Premier League standings, a place behind billionaire Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea.

    Usmanov said he “will think what to do with Arsenal” by the end of the season. “In our understanding, Kroenke has no plans to sell his stake, but we also won’t sell out, as we are the team’s fans,” Usmanov said.—

    Well if Usmanov won’t sell up, and neither will Kroenke, it will be as you are — but one day one of them will crack when the smell of easy money becomes too much.

    Bollix to the pair of them, both are acting out of self interest, and both issue statements when it suite them to act as palliatives for the fans, the only ones who truly matter.

    Without us fans — what is the point of a football club?

  63. goonermichael says:

    Love the way jabba calls himself a fan. What a load of bollocks. Has he still got his box at old shiteford?

  64. evonne says:

    that’s ok GM; alisher got himself a box at OT, watched a few games and decided that he doesn’t like what he’s seeing. He went to the Ems and had fallen in love with the Arsenal. Nothing wrong with that

  65. Shard says:


    I am surprised, (and a little disappointed) to lose you to the dark side.. Anakin Skywalker turning to the Sith surprised me less.. tut tut 🙂

    Of course you are entitled to your views, and you probably make use of that ample brain of yours to arrive at your conclusion. This isn’t the place to discuss it so I’ll leave it for now.

    But since you brought up Usmanov. I have serious doubts he intends to spend money like Abramovich does at Chelsea. Much of the statements that come out of R&W say basically the same things that the current Arsenal board say (increasing commercial income, challenging for top honours etc) The one thing R&W proposed was a shares issue, but that only benefits their position and weakens Kroenke’s and as such they knew would be refused, but would score them some brownie points.

    I also wonder why Moshiri isn’t mentioned since they both co-own those Arsenal shares through R&W securities. When Jabba the hutt is the face of a company, you have to wonder what they are hiding.

    Also, the only way Jabba forces his way into Arsenal is a)either by paying Kroenke a sum he can’t refuse or b) by forcing Kroenke out, by harming his investment (ie Arsenal) for which he probably needs us fans on his side.

    If he was going to do (a) he would have done it and wouldn’t need to give interviews to the media. If he intends to do (b) that would mean that he has to harm Arsenal in order to force Kroenke to accept a lower valuation. In part, I believe this is already being done for some years now through the negative reporting of Arsenal. One way in which Arsenal’s model is guaranteed to fail is if the fans start revolting. No self financing model survives without the consumers.

    As such, Usmanov and R&W’s interests are aligned against Arsenal’s. Some might argue this is short term pain for long term gain, but that is only a dream that they sell us, while never giving any assurances, except pointing to the size of Usmanov’s..uhhhh…wallet, and him professing to be a fan. There’s no way I want them near my club.

  66. Red Arse says:

    Hi Shard, 🙂

    You would need to read my closely argued article before arriving at your conclusion that I have gone over to the dark side.

    I am writing short summaries gathering together my long term comments regarding the iniquities of the current distortion caused by the obscene external funding of certain clubs by ‘non-football’ people.

    Rather than to personalise the issue into ‘likening x’ or ‘disliking y’ or look at the effect on only Arsenal, in a rather parochial way, I am trying to look at the problem across the piece for all of the EPL clubs, in particular, and the other European Leagues and clubs in general.

    Is the FFP the solution? Well, if it works, it would, ironically, benefit these same oligarch clubs, as well as help Arsenal to a certain extent, but it would crush the hopes and aspirations of every other club outside the ‘elite’.

    So, in answer to my own question, no, FFP is not the way forward, in my opinion, it will either fail, in which case everything will continue as is, or it may, at least partially succeed and damn many clubs into being cannon fodder into perpetuity.

    To know why I have come to this conclusion, you will need to read my thoughts on the whole process for yourself, before forming your own view, and then you can reach a conclusion based on my argument, not on supposition.

    Light side – Dark side – phoeey. I am concerned with the whole of football and not just my own biased personal preferences. 🙂


    Thanks for the post Rocky Baby

    I wouldnt worry about Chelsea and Totnumb. With chelseas talent they shouldnt be sweating it in fairness. There problem is that they have no soul and the players are just playing for money, this will be there undoing. Totnumb are doing great, plenty of spirit and determination. There problem however is that there a bit shit. That will be there undoing.

    As for usmanov and stan, well quite frankly i like neither. i guess ime in the minority who belives in the esoterical when it comes to Arsenal.

    I dont give a damn if the owners are rich or skint, there ok with me if they protect the spirit, soul, and unseen ghosts that ocupy the clubs physical being. Without these intangibles, we could win 100 trophies but they would all be meaningles.

    “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring”

  68. phil says:

    Self Sustaining Model is broken, you can’t run Arsenal like a corner shop
    While we shop at Lidl others are shopping at Harrods and the results are self evident with no Trophies and falling further behind our competitors
    We need fans to be resolute and to hold firm and not be waverers like Red Arse who on the one hand endorses Usmanov and then at a stroke washes his hands on the matter.
    It’s this type of double mindedness which leads to instability.
    Thankfully Wenger has only one year remaining on his contract before project TEAM INVESTMENT takes off.

  69. goonermichael says:

    FFP will not benefit the Oligarch clubs. The main beneficiary will be Manu. That is why Manu want to make sure it goes through. The fact that Manu (the flagship brand of the premiere league) are behind it makes me believe it will go through.

    Usmanov has tried to cleanse his past. He had a lot of Arsenal fan blogs closed down and threatened when he first arrived. He is so dodgy but a lot of people want to ignore that or make excuses for him because they think he will throw money at the club and we’ll win lots of lovely trophies.

    I think you assume that Wenger is stopping the investment. We don’t know if that is true or not.

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Although the post is about other issues, there remains something rather smutty in the content. A little mucky and one night standish. 🙂
    Much of the outcome (top 4) will be determined by games against the relegation fighters. Will Wigan already be relegated when we play them 3 days after the Cup Final? Will Toon be safe by the time we play them?

  71. RockyLives says:

    Good point Micky.

    In an ideal situation, Wigan would be already down and would have just won the FA Cup. They would definitely roll over at that point.

    QPR this weekend should be straightforward but I have horrible memories of the equivalent fixture last season.

  72. chas says:

    Nice post, Rocky.
    The run-in should be exciting.

    bsr is history. Having said that, I despise every molecule in his body.

    “…..Old Toilet is a mausoleum. Without the fun.”
    This had me puzzled. 🙂

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thing about Usmanov is that he’s not that bothered about football whereas yer Abramovich genuinely is.
    What that means I know not 😦

  74. RockyLives says:

    Come on Chas
    You must have had some fun nights in a mausoleum when you were a teenager…

    Oh… was that just me?

  75. Shard says:


    I read your article on bergkampesque, and also your comments. I understand where you are coming from, and that there is more to it than you could say there. I refrained from the subject beyond making a joke about the dark side.

    My take on Usmanov was in response to the article you put up here. Not in relation to your post over there, and not to do with FFP. My personal views on FFP do seem to coincide with yours. But my views on the ongoings in football overall are probably different. I think the entire system is corrupt, and this is exhibited in many ways. Including through rules like FFP (in their execution or lack of it, as the case may be) I agree with TMHT in preserving the soul of the club in this regard. Trophies make never no mind to me except as validation of a real achievement. Morally, I already believe we won the league in 2008 as I think the final match (ManU-Wigan) was fixed, and this led me to conclude that the refereeing errors that we faced prior to that were also not errors at all.

    I am a bit of a ‘conspiracy theorist’ even though I hate that term, for it caricatures people with views that push the boundaries. That doesn’t change what I think about the state of the team, but it does lead me to not care so much about the results of a manipulated system.

    There. Now everyone can think me as a bit of a loony and consign my opinions to the rubbish heap, where they probably belong in any case. I’ve just run out of patience with the back and forth, and I am very very tired of the injustices I see on the football pitch (and not just to do with Arsenal) , and off the football pitch too.

    As much as I do not abide by ‘good’ or ‘bad’ since nothing and no one is inherently either of those, I do still believe in there being good guys and bad, if only in degrees. As of now, I believe Arsenal are on the side of ‘good’,(although I would, wouldn’t I?) and I believe the ‘dark side’ is winning the battle, and I’m not going to not say it just because it’s considered an oddball opinion.

    Anyway..back to the books now. I’ve probably cooked my own goose here anyway.

  76. chas says:

    Teams that are relegated often produce good performances once the pressure has gone.
    Old twitchy-face will be particularly keen to do the swampies a favour too.

  77. goonermichael says:

    I too think the manu wigan game was fixed but it was the chavs in the end who were robbed by that. We’d already been done by Dudu breaking his leg but, more importantly the pen at the end of that game. There weas also a game where we drew but had a good goal ruled offside and conceded and offside goal.

  78. chas says:

    As far as I’m concerned, we always win the league, it’s only the cheating refs and oily money (plus our results) which have denied us for the past umpteen seasons.

  79. Shard says:


    Yeah..I think I said that in my rant/post. We were already out of it. I don’t remember all the specifics, but I do remember thinking we had been very unlucky with referee decisions. I was rooting for ManU to win against Wigan because I didn’t want Chelsea to. But not win in that manner.

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So, the “Moral Trophy Cabinet” is heaving. Superb.
    Tip Top news 🙂

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If my memory serves me well, then as I remember things we did TheTreble last season

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Must offski

  83. Shard says:

    and so it begins.. chas and micky masterfully basting my cooking goose.

  84. goonermichael says:

    My wife always takes forever over her last client. Can’t believe I’m still at work. I wanted to watch the game. 😦

  85. Red Arse says:


    Why on earth would you think your goose is cooked? 🙂
    You have not said anything that would have given anyone reason to think any such thing — well except for the double negative in “I’m not going to not say it” 🙂 very droll!

    Your comments are among the most prized on here, and I, personally, enjoy the debate with you – always have.

    It is awkward for me to discuss something I wrote on BK, on AA, and I do not want to cause any problem with cross blog chat, oddly enough caused by the banned ‘saarki’, ‘Phil’, ‘Julian’ etc etc.

    For the record, I hold no brief for Usmanov, or Kroenke, now or previously, but I see no purpose in personalizing important views based on their ‘histories’.

    I will be addressing the FFP regulations and their consequences in due course, and your views would be very welcome. 🙂

  86. evonne says:

    damp her GM, I would sit and watch footy with you any day 🙂

  87. goonermichael says:

    How can I refuse 🙂

  88. evonne says:

    you can’t 🙂 not much happening in Madrid, not losing anything

  89. Just seen the Spanish doping thing on News at ten. They are so corrupt.

  90. Shard says:


    Thanks for your support.

    I wasn’t intending to talk about your article on BK, and I don’t think I really did. Though I did go off on a rant.

    My opposition to Usmanov has very little to do with his ‘history’, it is to do with his present, and with his actions. The reality is that for Usmanov to get what he wants, Arsenal need to do badly. What are these press statements at certain times if not attempts to destabilise the club and get fans to do his dirty work and force Kroenke out? If Arsenal do well, nobody cares who the owner is and Usmanov doesn’t even get a mention.

    Is it too much of a stretch that he might actually want to harm Arsenal in order to gain control over a club with a healthy balance sheet and with the assets and potential for growth that Arsenal have? I don’t think it is a stretch at all. That’s sort of how he’s made his fortune.

  91. radical says:

    Arsenal can’t sink any lower, lets get Usmanov on board quickly or do we entrust Wenger to deliver with the players he has currently at his disposal.

  92. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    “Arsenal can’t sink any lower.”.

    One of the stupidest comments I have read on AA and we have had some corkers over the years.

    Must be another guise of our troll

  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    Shard I believe you are correct in your reading of Usmanovs position and motives.

    We are basically the target of a hostile takeover t
    from Usmanov, but worse than just offering other shareholders a large premium he is using guerrilla tactics.

    If he acquired the club he can’t guarantee trophies he may well promise spending but once he has all the shares we will have no power to force him to, so we will be back in the same position. And if (the big if) FFP actually has teeth how will a billionaire investor help?

    If FFP doesn’t have teeth I still struggle to see how a billionaire will help, we will still be up against two others and the financial juggernaut that is ManUre for the top talent and to pay the highest wages. So we would still be in a one in four battle for players and trophies.

    And finally look at Dortmund, young hungry and talented, but most importantly well supported. Even though they are going to lose talent, but the fans (at least on Matchday) do not appear to let it affect their attitude to their club.

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy there are only 4 places in the EPL don’t forget, an there are definitely not 88 teams below that….have you not been keeping up? 🙂

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Very interesting debate between Shard and RA.

    I tend to think of Arsenal in the long-term. Which owner would be best for AFC in 2025?

    We know that Kroenke is an owner who stays with his “franchises” but doesn’t prioritise silverware over financial stability. Who knows what Usamov wants for AFC ?

    If Jabba intends to make us the London All-Stars I may well find it unacceptable at first but a CL trophy would soon change that. However, should he sell AFC in 5 years where does the club stand?

    Ownership had never been of interest until Abramovich came to Chelsea and changed the face of the PL. His arrival was a disaster (IMO)

    p.s. Interesting about the MU/Wigan game being fixed. Could it have been?

  96. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. 🙂

  97. GIE
    The Wigan game was another case of a manc friendly ref helping them out as usual.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dear Shard,
    Please don’t take offence to my comment. Intention was well meaning, as I love your contributions and especially the more spiritual angle you bring.
    The Metal Bit, well, I’ll overlook 🙂
    Not here, but hopefully back later.

  99. Red Arse says:

    Morning people. 🙂

    Sunny at 6 a.m., white and frosty; at 7 a.m. (and now) misty/cloudy and no frost.
    I love the weather on this island!! 😀

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Still here waiting for someone.
    In the pub before a game a few years ago (with some mutual friends of Rocky), there was an American chap with them. He worked for a company that made guttering and everything else that goes with rainwater dispersal. I’ll never forget the enthusiasm of how he spoke “Thing is about you Limeys, there is absolutely nothing you don’t know about dealing with rainfall. You are brilliant at it”.

  101. Red Arse says:


    I have written extensively on the club’s ownership, and I am gathering together some thoughts on FFP which I hope will clarify the pros and cons.

    The problem I have experienced in doing so, is to get the readers to divorce the various critical aspects of what is involved from the personal likes/dislikes of Usmanov, Abramovich and Co.

    The fact is we cannot turn the clock back, so we need to acccept that they and their ilk are here.

    The second problem is to try and show there is a greater risk in the current situation and the impact of FFP, that should not be looked at simply in terms of Arsenal and the beneficial or adverse effects on our club.

    Football itself is at risk, and that should concern all fans whoever they support.

    GM said last night that FFP will not benefit the oligarch clubs and only benefit Manure. Not only is he, provably, wrong on the first part, but he is correct, in part on the second, however Arsenal and Liverpool will also certainly benefit, to the disadvantage of many other clubs.

    Much though I love Arsenal, that cannot be right, and I will demonstrate what I mean.

    Truthfully, the main problem is that most fans have only a passing knowledge of the precise terms of UEFA’s FFP regulations and the consequences of those regulations on football clubs, and boredom soon sets in and the argument is lost because of ennui for the whole subject.

  102. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky, 🙂

    If there is a difference between the cultures, and there are many, it is that the Brits don’t always realise just how good they are, at so many things, and seem happy to just jog along in the ‘now’, rather than grab that advantage by the balls and change the future.

    Then, what do I know. Some people think I have a certain fluency in English, but I cannot tell you the number of times I have misunderstood the nuances intended by others (on the blogs) or where I have simply been misunderstood, especially when offence has been taken when none was intended.

    Cultural? Who knows! 😀

  103. Red Arse says:

    Too much me, again, I am off to bother others!! 😀

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I, for one, cannot wait to read your thoughts.
    The present board situation is one that is almost impossible to evaluate. On SK, we can look at his Self Sustaining approach and see that it fits comfortably with Arsenals’ historical Modus Operandi.
    Usmanov, on the other hand, is completely unpredictable.
    Might as well just sit back, enjoy the ride, and que sera, sera.

  105. Red Arse
    From what I’ve read FFP will limit clubs to only spending what they earn. Although Chelsea are becoming more self sufficient Man City are not. Clubs will be allowed to invest money in infrastructure (like City’s training complex) but not be allowed to spend more in wages than turnover (like City) Manchester United will benefit the most as they generate the most money. Smaller clubs will not be able to bring in outside investment (via sugar daddies) so they will be screwed.

    There are obviously ways of trying to get around it (football is completely corrupt anyway) like City’s stadium naming rights scam and apparently Platini’s son is on the board of PSG. Whether it works remains to be seen

  106. I actually said that Manu would benefit the most not that they would be the only beneficiary’s RA

  107. evonne says:

    “That’s sort of how he’s made his fortune” – Shard about Usmanov. How do you know how he made his fortune??
    It makes me cringe how people accuse Usmanov of all crimes and openly despise him without reason. I neither like nor dislike him, I have no idea how he made his fortune but I doubt anybody else knows much about him. Why all the hatred?

  108. evonne says:

    Marinho is from another planet 🙂 I just listen to him saying how much he is loved in England and more or less suggesting that he wants to come back to Chelsea at the end of the season.

    Nice way to divert attention from him dropping out of CL, clever!!

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thing is, you never know what people know, as they are often tongue tied. I have a very good friend who has been to more than one game at The Ems with AU, and I can say nothing!

  110. Red Arse says:

    Hi GM, 🙂

    That is a pretty accurate summary, but there are consequences that are not self evident, and I will show how that if FFP works, it will adversely affect non-oligarch clubs in a way that leaves the ‘rich’ clubs in the most advantageous position, which is not what was intended by UEFA.

    I am keeping my powder dry until I have collected my thoughts. 😀

  111. evonne
    There is a book by a man who used to be British consul in Uzbekistan. It accuses Usmanov of lot’s of dodgy stuff. Usmanov used the best lawyers to bully ISPs into closing down Arsenal blogs if they reproduced parts of it. If it’s all lies why doesn’t he use the same lawyers to sue about the book? Usmanov has tried to cleanse his past by using PR. His wiki page and any other “official” biographies say he was pardoned by Gorbacev when in fact his pardon came from Karimov.

  112. evonne says:

    Micky 🙂 Are you saying that your good friend discussed business dealing with AU during games? I have no reasons to doubt you, quite the opposite, but ……. nay, I don’t buy it 🙂

  113. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Well done with the post yesterday Rocky. I didn’t get enough time to comment yesterday and with RVP I am definitely in the “he stabbed us in the back” camp. It tends to turn into a bit of a rant if I start explaining why so shall leave it but am with you that he could at least finish Chelsea off for us this weekend. Failure to do so having taken a penalty against us will see his traitor factor increase dramatically in my eyes.

  114. Red Arse says:

    Morning, Evonne, 🙂

    Micky, my tongue is definitely tongue tied, [granny knot – nothing fancy] 🙂

    That is mostly because — well totally because, I know bugger all about AU, and would want to keep my knee caps, if I did. 😀

  115. RA
    I thought FFP was a reaction to the sugar daddies. It wouldn’t surprise me if it benefited them though.

    If you look at the ISL scandal and the Spanish blood doping scandal it’s obvious that football is totally corrupt.

  116. Red Arse says:

    Crikey, GoonerB Good, 🙂

    You are so busy you will soon be our very own Usmanov with all the filthy lucre you are earning!! 😀

  117. evonne says:

    GM – ok, I will try to buy and read the book. Then again, only because it was printed it does not mean it has to be true.

  118. No it obviously doesn’t evonne but with all his money you’d think he’d sue him for libel and to my knowledge he hasn’t.

  119. evonne says:

    GM – are you talking about Craig Murray’s book??? OMG, the man was a drunk, into prostitution and was fired from his post in Tashkient

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Don’t “buy” then 🙂

  121. Usmanov should still sue him then evonne.


    Just a quick one about FFP. Yes, in basic terms clubs will have to break even but this will not stop suger daddys form creating “super clubs”

    Think of it like this. Outside the remit of FFP rich owners can build new stadiums, infrustructure around the stadium to facilate its design, training complexes, massive investment in youth sytesms, and perhapes even more importantly use there political power to procure “legitamate” 3rd party sponsership deals.

    Mull this one over. Man City have more 3rd party sponsers than Man Utd and Real Madrid combined.

    Dont get me wrong, it will benefit Arsenal and help close the gap, but it wont make the likes of City or Abramovitch go away.

    By the way, i also agree with Redders. It will help cement the Traditional big clubs positon and harm the smaller clubs, especially those who have benovelant owners.

  123. Shard says:


    I gave my reasons for disliking Usmanov (mainly that his interests stand in opposition to Arsenal’s), and I never accused him of any crimes. Taking over shares/companies is not a crime. Although his last two investments in Facebook and Megafon have run into regulatory problems as regards their IPOs, that doesn’t necessarily have to do with Usmanov. His fortune seems to have derived from investing into growing companies, and selling them at opportune times. Do I know his entire business portfolio or strategy? Of course not. But based on that aspect, I think he’s in it for the money, not the glory, since Arsenal meets the criteria of one of his investments. While Kroenke is in it for the money too, he never claims otherwise, and at least he tends to make his money by the running of sport teams rather than through trading shares.

    As for the British diplomat (I forget his name) and the allegations of criminality surrounding Usmanov, you can make up your own mind. I never brought them up. Usmanov has definitely paid for PR though (I’d argue both for him, and against the club). Which again, to clarify, since I seem to need to, is not a crime.

  124. evonne says:

    Oh I don’t know. I suspect that there is no smoke without fire. I try to be fair and not deem anybody guilty without any proof, where accusations are merely based on half truths or rumours.

    I don’t care much for Usmanov or his wealth, but I doubt he is more guilty than any other multibillionaire of underhand dealings. You don’t get such wealth by working for someone 9 to 5.

    However Shard I’d say he would not use the Club to increase his portfolio, no. He would want to do better than Roman, his compatriot, and that could probably benefit us.

  125. Funnily enough evonne I just read Murray’s wiki. All charges against him (including being drunk) were dropped. He seems to be a left winger and doesn’t toe the conservative line on Foreign policy.

  126. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    ….. New post …..

  127. evonne says:

    all charges dropped?? that sounds well dodgy 🙂

  128. Shard says:


    He doesn’t behave like an Abramovich when it comes to buying shares. He doesn’t make an offer that Kroenke can’t refuse. Instead he uses the press to put pressure on Kroenke (and Arsenal) through the fans.

    He doesn’t even really say that he will spend his own money to pay for superstar fees and wages. In fact he made what might be a reference to FFP recently when asked if he would spend whatever it took to get Messi. He said something like anyone would spend whatever for Messi, but in the future transfer fees are expected to go down. He’s also asked for dividends to be paid to shareholders.

    He doesn’t act like a sugar daddy, doesn’t even talk like a sugar daddy, and yet, because of his net worth, and his strategically timed, critical comments, people believe he will be a sugar daddy. I don’t think so. His competitive spirit with Abramovich, which may or may not exist, doesn’t seem to be enough to base predictions of his actions on, especially in light of what he’s said (an not said) and what he’s been doing (and not doing)

  129. William McGoonagal says:

    Shouldn’t RIP have recieved the PFA player of the year for winning manure the title singlehandedly? was it appropriate for the PFA to have Tom Daley present Bale with the gong? What is the ruling on penalties? Shouldn’t the ball be placed plum centre of the spot, 12 yards from goal?

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