In Praise Of Ivan The Not-So-Terrible

There is an unbridgeable divide between supporters who feel we have overachieved since the stadium move and those who feel we have underachieved.

I am in the first camp. The arguments for and against have seen more daylight than Ashley Cole’s wayward todger so there’s no need to go into them in too much depth again.

But in summary, the case for us having overachieved is this:

  • We moved stadium at great expense, leaving us with a mighty debt.
  • To pay for the stadium we had to enter into long-term commercial deals which, while just about OK at the time, became less and less competitive as the years went by. Unfortunately we were locked in for the long haul as it was the only way we could finance the new stadium.
  • The world entered the biggest financial crash for 75 years.
  • Rich oilygarchs started taking over English football clubs and completely skewed the economics of the game. In this rich man’s game we were suddenly the paupers at the table.
  • Somehow, despite all these adverse trends, we managed to qualify for the Champions League every single year while showing a net profit on transfers. During this period we were massively outspent not just by the oilers, but also by such footballing titans as Stoke City, Aston Villa, QPR, West Ham, Sunderland, Wigan, Reading and Norwich.
  • All the above constitutes a minor footballing miracle. That any club could be steered through such stormy seas and still find its way to harbour safely year after year is simply incredible. One day this achievement will be understood and appreciated more widely than it is now.

Now if you, like me, accept this case as being self-evident, then it naturally follows that some people have been doing an extraordinarily good job at Arsenal.

First and foremost the credit for this overachievement is rightly given to Arsene Wenger.

We now know that his “project youth” experiment (while undoubtedly appealing somewhat to his philosophy and vanity) was actually a policy of financial necessity.

And while many are angry that he failed to bring us any silverware in the years since we left Highbury, with the financial resources we had available it’s remarkable that we did not slide into mid table mediocrity.

But enough has been said and written about Arsene.

I want to dole out some credit to another man – one who has been pilloried and vilified by huge swathes of the fan base for many years: Ivan Gazidis.

The reason I feel he deserves praise is because if Arsene was the captain of our ship during the stormy years, Ivan was the chief engineer. It was his job to keep HMS Arsenal seaworthy (financially sound) during some very difficult years – and he has succeeded brilliantly.

To be honest, I have never understood the vitriol – hate, even – that has been directed at him. Most of the critics have not the faintest idea of what he actually does (not that it stops them hating him).

When he became Chief Executive in 2008 the challenges before him were many and complex but the main ones were: retain the services of Arsene Wenger; pay down the high-interest elements of our stadium debt; ensure stability in the boardroom during a period of intense struggle between shareholders; improve on the commercial deals when possible.

Well, you can put a tick against every one of those aims.

His recent interview, in which he spoke with great optimism about the future of Arsenal, has received mixed reactions entirely depending on the prejudices of the listener/reader.

If you are part of the Angry Brigade, his talk of being now able to compete financially with the best in the world was a cynical ploy related to season ticket renewal and in advance of the meeting with supporters this week. Or it was a way of passing the blame on to Arsene if we fail to make any significant signings this summer.

I am a much less complicated listener. I took his words to mean what they said. In fact, they sounded to me like self-evident truth: we know that our new commercial deals are bringing in vast sums of money; we know that the new Premier League broadcasting deal is doing likewise; we know that the remaining “mortgage” on The Emirates Stadium is at low interest rates and is entirely manageable.

If you want to understand what our club has achieved in the last seven or eight years, just think about what COULD have happened during that period.

  • The stadium move could have spiraled out of control, running over time and over budget, but it didn’t, which says a great deal for the oversight from the club’s hierarchy (before and after Gazidis’s arrival).
  • Without Wenger’s genius and with no “net” money to spend on transfers, the team could have really struggled to stay competitive and could have slid down the Premier League table.
  • This might then have prompted desperate, panic buying to try and prop up the playing side even though we couldn’t afford it.
  • In the worst case, we could have found ourselves in a vicious spiral of debt off the pitch and failure on the pitch, which might ultimately have led to flirting with relegation, bankruptcy or both.
  • St Totteringham’s bones would have stayed in their casket for year after miserable year.

None of these bad things happened and we are now better placed than all but the “financially doped” teams to succeed in the years ahead.

And as Ivan has pointed out, the two teams in the Champions League final this year – Munich and Dortmund – both got there on the back of sustainable financial models and without the help of rich sugar-daddies.

So, Ivan Gazidis, you have taken many barbs since you arrived at Arsenal. Just for once, it’s time you took a bow…

Footnote

I have seen Ivan referred to as an American, as a South African, as someone who knows nothing about football. Well, here are some facts that you may not know about our Chief Exec:

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Moved to England (Manchester) at age four because he father, a prominent anti-apartheid activist, was being persecuted by the then South African government.

Was considered a very talented footballer at school in Manchester.

Went to Oxford University where he earned a “blue” at football (which means he represented the University which also means he was a better player than 99% of the people reading this Post).

Graduated in law.

Moved to the US in 1992.

Was a founding member of Major League Soccer in the US in 1994.

RockyLives

DON’T FORGET: TOMORROW WE RESUME OUR SEARCH TO FIND THE ALL-TIME GREATEST ARSENAL SQUAD. THIS WEEK WE MOVE ONTO THE DEFENCE.

115 Responses to In Praise Of Ivan The Not-So-Terrible

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Hmmm.

  2. LB says:

    No other blog comes close to being able to deliver a post of that quality on a Monday morning.

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

  3. Brian Douglas says:

    You must be mad, Gazaridis (£500K bonus for selling Fabregas & Nasri, what a financial genius) and Kroenk (billionaire scrooge) have ruined our team.
    At the Annual General Meeting 4 years AV was chuffed to know we had a 42000 waiting list for season tickets, They be lucky if they can sell all the tickets now.

  4. noel says:

    U just an hypocrit……..arsenal will neva spend cash….so stop changin year toon bcuz a bitch guy told ya soo……

  5. John Gee says:

    Sounds like a Stewart Robson fan !! Mr Gazidis and AW have done a super job for Arsenal. I, for one, am looking forward to the future with almost as much optimism as ” the Invincibles” season. Th, DB, RP, FL, G, SC, et al can never be replaced.

    John Gee

  6. sparky says:

    I’d say the comments from Gazidis about our new financial situation were self-serving. You’ll notice at one point he says “I don’t think we’ve been given enough credit”, by which he means “he” rather than “we”. Also, what kind of idiot announces to the world just as the transfer window opens and you’re about to start negotiating with clubs, agents and players, “hey, we’ve got loads of money to spend, and if a player wants 200k a week we can can easily pay that or more”?

  7. udehsam87 says:

    VERY INSIGHTFUL POST! i HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT HE’S A GENIUS..

  8. sube says:

    “Ivan has pointed out, the two teams in the Champions League final this year – Munich and Dortmund – both got there on the back of sustainable financial models and without the help of rich sugar-daddies.”
    True
    But these teams produce world-class players through their academies and we don’t. Arsenal promote youth they say but how many world class players have come through our academy in the last 15–20 years(barring Ashley Cole and maybe Wilshere) And in the case of Bayern, they do not hesitate to spend what they have earned on players that improve their squad.
    I don’t think I need to remind you that Ivan and Arsene among others in our board had a significant pay rise last year do I?

  9. potter says:

    Quotes from Ivan :-

    “” “My message to our fans is that we are doing everything in our power to make sure that Arsenal can challenge for trophies next year,” “That is what this summer is about and that is what we are focused on.

    “We have a good team, we have a good young core of players and we need everybody involved to have belief so that we can push forward into next year and make a run at the Premier League trophy and for the Champions League. We believe we can do that.”

    “The key for us is not the volume of signings we might make but that the signings we make add something to the squad.

    “We are also talking to people in this summer’s transfer market, I think there will be something exciting for our fans to be happy about.”

    Sounds promising doesn’t it. Except that these quotes come from last summer. “”

  10. Rasp says:

    Terrific post Rocky.

    I changed my opinion of IG about a year ago and paradoxically it was as a result of listening to a debate at an AST meeting.

    Contrary to what many on here may believe, a lot of what the AST discuss is unbiased analysis of the finances and the machinations at Board level – there are however individuals involved who appear to have an agenda.

    Any way, the gist of it was to explain what an impossible job IG has trying to bring together a remote owner, an aged non-footballing Board and a manager who has a very specific way of doing business.

    Your point about the need to do the financial deals for up front payments to fund the Emirates is very important and as we’ve seen, the new commercial deals have been much more lucrative.

    So although I am not a great fan of Ivan’s slick PR (when he’s trying to gloss over something he knows to be unpopular) I believe he has done a very good job for the Arsenal.

  11. winston says:

    Tes,he said he Will bring in players to improve our squad,he bought Cazorla m,padolski,Giroud,who all had double figures in goals and assists and you say he didnt live up to his promises,grow up and stop sulking and see the Great work done

  12. sai says:

    Rocky! Rocky!! Rocky!!!

    Why is that its always easy to guess if its Rocky’s post after reading the first paragraph. “Inside Ashley Cole’s head” stands as the epitome of all your posts and I say this because I started following this great forum after reading that bone tickling topic.

    I have hated Ivan Gazidis all these years. But this positive post might just be what the doctor ordered to turn the opinion in favour of Ivan. I have always been a fan of Wenger. The points you’ve listed might well be discussed in leading Management institutions and Wenger may well be giving a guest lecture one day! 🙂

    Thank you Rocky for providing such an insight in a simple way.

  13. Joe says:

    Noise
    Yes we got knocked out by lower league teams in two cup competitions. But these things happen in football in the last number of years it’s happened Manu, spurs and man city in other words it’s not just Arsenal who go out to lower teams.

  14. sai says:

    Whether we sign interesting players or not, expect the great attacking style that we’ve seen at Arsenal under Wenger coming season. This team has bonded well and after one full year of togetherness and with no player leaving (Atleast no transfer sagas), we can only expect better things to happen. Whether it is going to be great? Fingers crossed; in Wenger we trust…And with some real expectation this season.

  15. Garry says:

    Hi .. How long will you personaly be giving it before you expect us to be putting in a serious challenge for the prem or CL ..

  16. Rasp says:

    Morning Garry, Rocky is across the pond and therefore in a different time zone. He normally comes on at about 1 and I am sure will respond to your question.

  17. the voice of reason at last….

  18. Neamman says:

    Great post, I also never understood the hatred for IG.

  19. Mogooner says:

    Some people just believe everything they hear as gospel and so putting their blinkers on and seeing only negatives makes sense to them irrespective of the facts. In fact, they’re very selective when presenting their own opinion-based ‘facts’ to support their angle. I expect lots of negative comments from some who stopped reading after the first couple of paragraphs.
    Thank you for an informative, well-written piece. I needed that.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post RL

    The anti-Gazidis lobby are the same people who demand the return of David Dein, a man who sold us down the river for a bucket full of cash.

    I am unsure about Gazidis. To credit him with the renewed and improved commercial deals minimises the work of the commercial and marketing dept. The TV deal had nothing to do with him. The stadium rights, the same.

    That said, the positives of his COE’ ship are all listed in your post.

  21. RedMJ says:

    Excellent post. Refreshingly positive and upbeat and whilst I doubt (I don’t know) that IG is perfect, which of us is? – DD certainly wasn’t either, unless viewed through the old rose tinted specs again.
    The beauty of the internet and shows like Talksh*te is that they give those with an axe to grind and a glass that is always way less than half full (if it is half full, its probably because someone they know spat in it) the oxygen they need to feed their habits and their cravings to be heard. Everyone gets their 15 seconds of fame after all ( I know Warholl said 15 minutes but even Talksh*te wouldn’t give them that long and in 1968 when he said it, he couldn’t have predicted that the Internet would exist or that Durham would be such a knob).

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    Excellent summation Rocky.

    You have an uncanny knack/ability to be able to reduce a very heated and complex subject matter down to a few well reasoned paragraphs – simply superb!

    I have never once strayed from the pro AW and pro IG camps, both have done a superlative job and have over achieved in spite of the incredible number of both verbal and written attacks.

    It’s not at all surprising that you have woken up a few individuals who yearn only for glory and trophies. They will never understand why we don’t mortgage our future away, for a trophy or two, so they can have bragging rights over their mates!

  23. Arsene says:

    Wenger’s an Accountant hence the sales of Petit, Overmars and the sale of Anelka to fund
    the building of the Training Ground Complex .
    Football will always take a backseat over finances with this Manager.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Top drawer Rocky.

    Bar selling our soul, I have no idea what more could have been done. If I have a criticism, and it would be unfounded from a knowledge stand point, I’ve often thought we could have taken a slightly more high risk approach.

    My feelings have always been that top four was imperative for a number of reasons, and boy, has it been close.

    Having said that, boy has it been fun pipping Spuds on the last day.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arsene,

    We sold all three at top whack, and two (you could argue all three) never came close to achieving what you’d expect from players with those price tags.

    Great business on all three accounts, and also, from the evidence, very good from a footballing stand point as well. Anelka financed a top team.

  26. E9 schoolboys says:

    Should have been honest with us when we moved to the grove

  27. Arsene says:

    The trouble is Wenger keeps repeating the same pattern with sales of Hleb, Edu, Silvinho,
    Cole, Henry, Nasri, Fabregas, Song and Van Persie.
    Wenger has a serious fixation about balancing the books at the expense of minding the Teams affairs.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Trouble is this E9. I tell my children things in accordance with their age and maturity. If IG had been what you call “honest”, I think he would have made you cry like a girlie.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsene,

    I would change your words – very slightly..

    “Wenger has a serious fixation about balancing the books in order to mind the expense of the Teams affairs.”

  30. Logical arguments – deserve praise with an optimistic outlook. To be fair, hope to see the club follow through it words with action to prove doubters and cynics wrong, but above all the silverware us supporters expect. If not, then I fear IG and AW will have to go and someone else will need to take the challenge.

    Chelsea has proven, you don’t need stability to win cups and money buys cups. Whilst Arsenals methods are admirable, we need to win silverware to maintain a winning tradition and legacy.

  31. njstone9 says:

    This is *exactly* how I feel about the situation.

    In fact ironically, those who complain about Wenger and who say we have underachieved are actually giving him a massive backhanded compliment.

    Essentially what their argument boils down to is that Wenger is such a genius he not only has the ability to achieve all the incredible feats listed in the above article, but that he could have won stuff as well!

    I cannot think of any other manager who could have sustained Arsenal in the way Wenger has. He is a Titan of world football.

  32. Ian Ure Face says:

    Top notch Sicky Lover !.

    I shall reserve my judgement if and when we spend this money and no conditions and excuses arise, he ( Gazidis ) has put his head on the block with such statements, so interesting times ahead, hopefully good ones !.
    As for being called “Ivan the Terrible”, well, that’s just his pet name for him by his missus and a reason why I travel all the way from Cornwall on a Thursday and come home shattered….she`s very demanding !. hahaha

    On a slightly different note….Is ( and does anyone know ) there an actual date when UEFA will look at Chavs, City, PSG and Monaco`s books and inform them that they have been taking the piss under FFP and will be deducted points or be banned or hopefully both ?

  33. E9 schoolboys says:

    schoolboys was below east lower 70s 80s maybe your a 89iner dont no,just saying gave seasonticket up arsenal saying sameold everyear

  34. RockyLives says:

    Good day all and thanks for the comments.

    I expected a greater number of “you must be mad” comments so it’s pleasing to see that most people are beginning to sense the smell of recovery and are understanding the difficult path we have been walking these last several years.

    Wise words from many of the regulars as I would expect, but it was nice to see some positive comments from new or occasional visitors too.

    To pick up on a few of the points raised:

    Sube
    You write (disapprovingly) of the fact that Ivan and Arsene got pay rises last year. I think I have made the case in my Post for why they deserve such rises.

    Potter
    As Winston pointed out, we pretty much did everything that Ivan promised in those quotes from last summer. I think you were trying to imply that this summer he is trotting out the same mantra. Well, to me there is a massive difference between what he said last summer and what he has recently said. Massive.

    Garry
    I expect a serious challenge for both the Prem and CL next season, but I would not be surprised or dismayed if we fall a bit short in 2013/14. However I would see us then pushing on the following year and claiming some major silverware. As a good friend of mine would put it: “The ghosts of the Thirties are stirring.”

    Arsene
    I sometimes wonder why I bother. You say Arsene is fixated on balancing the books at the expense of on-pitch success. The whole point of today’s Post was to explain why Arsene and the club were compelled to balance the books to avoid jeopardising the future of the Arsenal. That time has now passed and you will see different priorities henceforth.

    Erol
    It’s true that the Chavs have won cups while not being stable, and it’s true that money CAN buy cups. But I really don’t want us to be run – like Abramovich’s Chelsea – on a totally non-economic basis which would cause the club to collapse and disappear if ever the sugar daddy owner gets bored and takes his money away; or gets indicted for a serious crime in how homeland; or dies suddenly etc. One of these sugar daddy clubs is going to go belly-up in spectacular fashion before too long. Just wait and see.
    By the way, I totally agree with your final line: “we need to win silverware to maintain a winning tradition and legacy.” I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for the pots to start coming our way.

    Depressed Moose
    Thankyou for the comment – but please cheer up 🙂
    With the “moose” reference, does this mean you are North America based like me?

  35. arsene @ 1:24 – yeah and Mourinho is an interpreter, do you think he is here to practise his English?

    Not sure why you are calling yourself arsene when you have nothing positive to say about the man. Or is it some sado-masochistic perverstion?

  36. RockyLives says:

    Friendly
    It’s just the troll.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky
    Arsene is Dial Sq from another site where he’s not wanted either. He’s struggling 🙂

  38. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    A sad existence really. Poor soul.

    I hope all your general busyness betokens a boom in the specialist smoked meats market and that you will soon be expanding Westwards…

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Southwards at the moment. In Paris next week, then again the following week. Seriously, life can be a bugger at times 🙂

  40. RockyLives says:

    You globe-trotting scoundrel you!

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hardly a stay-at-home boy yourself 🙂

    While we’re talking of IG and therefore Income Streams, how exactly are The Oily Ones going to cope with FFP and all that?

    Will we see selling before buying?

  42. RockyLives says:

    Dunno Micky
    The Northern Oilers seem to be buying like it’s going out of fashion and the Southern Oilers are sure to do likewise with Maureen at the helm.

    Frankly I don’t think they give two hoots about FFP and I doubt they will ever be held to account.

    Unfortunately 😦

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If you read the gossip columns like I do ( 😦 ) then there is a lot of talk of names leaving both Oilers.

    It’ll certainly make interesting viewing. For My Sort at any rate 🙂

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t mean to put myself down on account of my filthy tabloid habits, but what’s a fella supposed to do?

    Picture this. It’s yesterday. A happy DidIt is returning from the coast where he has caught five, yes five more, lobsters (on the back of the two on Saturday), so stops in Waitrose to buy some unreasonably priced nibbles.

    There’s a canteen where they do top notch bacon rolls, and there is a choice of reading fodder that includes The Mirror, The Sun and The North Devon Journal. Two are heaving with stories of expensive footballers coming to THOF, and the other isn’t.

  45. Sorry Rocky, but…

    Big Raddy, et al
    Following on from BR’s post yesterday…

    Arsenal’s Craig Eastmond joins Colchester United

    Midfielder Craig Eastmond has agreed a two-year deal to join Colchester United when his current contract at Arsenal expires at the end of June.
    The 22-year-old played 13 times for the U’s in a loan spell during the 2012-13 season and scored twice.

    He told the club’s website : “I am at an age where I want to play week in, week out.”
    “I think I can do that here in the next step of my career.”

    Eastmond came through the youth ranks at Arsenal, where he was part of the FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2009 and went on to make 10 first-team appearances for the Gunners.
    He also had loan spells at Millwall and Wycombe Wanderers before joining Colchester last September.

    “I enjoyed my time here on loan, and now I just want to carry on where I left off,” he added.
    “This is a place that feels good to me and one that has made me feel part of a family.”

    —————————————————————–

    Jordan Wynter: Arsenal youngster joins Bristol City

    Bristol City have signed Arsenal youngster Jordan Wynter after the midfielder turned down a contract extension at the Emirates Stadium.

    The 19-year-old has agreed a two-year deal, with the prospect of first-team football a key factor in the move.
    Wynter was at Arsenal from the age of eight and signed a first professional contract with the Gunners last summer.

    “Excited to finally declare I have signed for Bristol City,” Wynter said on Twitter.
    “Looking forward to the season coming up. Thanking Arsenal for everything.”

  46. RockyLives says:

    Sensible move by Eastmond.

    I think he realised he was never going to make it at THOF and has adjusted his expectations accordingly.

  47. The font says:

    I am 100% behind wenger. But what sparky says 10:37 is a clue
    To the board. Blame shifting back to wenger or walking in to a veg shop declaring I have £10 to spend on a carrot. And then asking how much is your CARROT

  48. RockyLives says:

    …or in a world where there is a shortage of carrots and good carrots are much prized, it’s a way of saying to the vendors: “Bring me your best carrots first because I have 10 pounds! Don’t take them to those oily types who will just put your best carrot in a cupboard with all the other carrots they have bought in the past.”

  49. well done Al, Raddy was feeling sorry for the guys without good reason 🙂 excellent

    Micky – I thought you stopped at Waitrose to flog the monsters, or at least exchange for extortionate nibbles

    Rocky – I am off to read the post now.

    Troll – feck off, you’re not fooling me again

  50. ok, I have read the post now and can confirm that this is another of Rocky Classics! Where do you get an inspiration from sir??

    No doubt that Gazidis is playing an important role at the Arsenal. He and AW with help of few others make sure that everything is tickety boo and runs like a clockwork. And it cannot be a trivial task to do so in a dynamic, multi billion pound industry, where you are exposed to million of critics every time the team steps on the pitch. There are countries in this world that are smaller than AFC, and yes many of us have never heard of them. But everyone on this earth has heard of the Arsenal, that’s how big our Club has become.

    So fair play to you Rocky for reminding us of IG’s achievements, and a big thank you to Ivan himself for sterling work he is doing.

  51. Warning – do not turn your tv on tonight or you will be violently sick!! Maureen is shagging the media in public, disgusting

  52. RockyLives says:

    Funny comment about Maureen, Evonne 😀

    And thank you for liking the Post 🙂

    Are you FT permanently or will you return to being Evonne?

  53. Ian Ure Face says:

    So it was your dogs that pissed on my Daffodils !!! 👿

  54. Not sure Rocky, but I think FT is safer – other trolls don’t know I am an old biddy
    Of course I like the post, you are an excellent writer and researcher. If you asked me yesterday what Gazidis was doing at the club I would have very little to say, for a change. Including his nationality, degree and other achievements – never even bothered to check. And it turns out that he is some guy with a great portfolio, yes, I definitely like him now

  55. IUF – of course not, they wouldn’t piss on the daffs, they did a poo instead 🙂 Aren’t they gorgeous?

  56. Ian Ure Face says:

    I`m so glad I sold them Carrots for £10 instead of eating them, now that I know your dogs poohed on them as well !. hahaha

  57. Ian Ure Face says:

    I see on newsnow that 3 FIFA accredited Refferees have been found guilty of sex bribes to fix matches, it`s outrageous !!!…to think I was ready to fix a game for the spuds to lose for nothing !.

  58. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Super post Rocky, and i totally agree with your sentiments. Whats not to like about Ivan? He and Arsene are doing a splendid job and we as fans are about to reap the benefits of there admirable work.

    One thing you missed in your “Know your Ivan” Rock, is that Gazidis is of Greek origins. I know his cousin Telly who owns the laundrette on the Bounds Green Road realy well.

    The other day, whilst picking up my Arsenal pyjamas and Denis Bergkamp onesie, Telly told me that Ivan is fully aware of his critics and that though he has to maintain a professional integrety, would like to, well to quote Telly ” doer the zorba dance on there asses”

    Mind you, Telly reckons Ivan told him were going to sign Messi and that he was seeing the beautiful Rusiian girl who works in the next door coffee shop, so maybe hes got a few things wrong. hahaha

  59. don’t worry IUF, it is the mushrooms that grow on shit 🙂 Carrots love sandy soil

  60. Excellent post, Rocky. Whilst not agreeing with all that you say Gazidis does deserve credit for a a difficult job well done. Arsenal fans must realise that he can’t always be absolutely transparent, and if it wasn’t him telling a few porkies, then it would only be somebody else.

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How long before the new season kicks off? 🙂

    Cannot wait, so I’ve just looked it up and discovered we’re only in June 😦

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Time for page after page of unsubstantiated gossip.

    Happy Days 🙂

  63. dandan says:

    Great stuff Rocky,time the man got a fair hearing.
    Rasp it is sad that organisations like the AST have to waste opportunities because of the black scarfed agendas of a few. Were the board able to trust those attending to have an open mind then the delegates like Ivan that they put up could maybe allow themselves to be even more open.
    I believe there is a Q and A meeting tonight, if so maybe you or Peaches can report back to us mere mortals on the quality of the discussion.
    Although no doubt the here we go again mob will be in full cry, John peel like following the news hounds as they attempt to awaken the dead with the cry of “Wenger out” in the morning. Fortunately he is to cunning a fox to be bothered by their incandescent raving.

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You and Me Big Daddy, You and Me 🙂

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Dandan,

    Long time no see yon gravatar. All well I hope.

  66. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky good post sir and I think you are right to heap praise on Ivan. I think as Micky said it would have been good to see a bit more risk, perhaps buying ourselves out of the Nike deal especially as it now looks like we will be moving on anyway. But I just don’t think that’s the way we work……

    Maureen gave three objectives today did you see?

    1st Finish 4th
    2nd Finish 3rd
    3rd Attempt to win PL

    Anyone care to explain what this winner is saying that is different to Arsene?

  67. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I know the transfer rumours are silly and pre season goes on to long. Should realy only last a week, or half a week if there is a mid week game, but is any body else feeling an almost ecstatic elation at our forth coming prospects?

    I admit my own excitement levels are rising to almost unbearable levels. A summer of not losing players, instead adding top quality to the tremondous potential we already have.

    I am certain we will win the league in 2 years, but am now recognizing that this could be to cautious. We can do it this year instead.

  68. Belfastgooner says:

    Rocky super post thanks. I totally agree with your analysis. Since Abramovic completely distorted the market it has been virtually impossible to compete.
    I think that both Arsene and IG have done a remarkable job.I think one of IGs main goals was to honour Arsenal’s tradition of integrity. MU I think bought out various sponsorship deals to earn more elsewhere but we fulfilled our commitments which says a lot for our word and reputation despite the potential loss of revenue. We have a lot to be proud of.
    I think Arsene has been very brave to stick with his principles of building and nurturing talent through the lean years. It would have been easy to gamble and spend outside of our means and it must have been a temptation when Maureen was goading us down the road but hopefully our time will come…soon
    One of the posts asked when we were going to win the premiership. Unless FFP kicks in, those days may be over but who knows? could be 2014 with the help of AW and IG

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tramsplant

    I’m so static my hair won’t go flat any more.

  70. Ian Ure Face says:

    TERRY MANCINI HAIRS TRANSPARENT ( it`s invisible ! )

    Gazidis talking the talk, I want walk the walk !. Still no sign of Super Quality ( and I don’t mean Blo Jovetic , he`s not the Full Montenegrin imo ! ) . Is your Bounds Green Observatory giving you classified info` ? . hahaha

  71. dandan says:

    Mickey time moves on but we are ahead of the game thus far, just hope it stays that way. Thanks for asking

  72. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, sounds good Micky

    Been serious for a moment, every time i get over excited i check the hairline to make sure some of the transplants havent popped out

    When we were linked with Sol Campbell, for precautions, i spent a week walking round with a hair net on. hahaha

  73. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hows it going Face? I fully expect us to chase down the likes of Higuain. We have the money, we need the player, so why not?

    Have you got a Hair Net? hahaha

  74. RockyLives says:

    Terry – I don’t believe your hair raising tales 🙂

    We were never linked with Big Sol – that announcement came out of the blue – and what a joyous surprise it was 😀

    I thought you’d like my Ivan piece: up the Greeks!

  75. RockyLives says:

    Where’s Mr Rouge Bottom?

  76. GunnerN5 says:

    There’s three old men on a park bench.
    The first old man says: “I have the big problem”…
    “every morning around 7 ‘o clock, I wake up,
    walk over to the urinal. And try and to take a pee.
    but nothing comes out”…

    The second old man says “I have an even worse problem. every morning at 8 ‘o’clock I walk over to the toilet and try and to take a poo I sit there waiting and nothing comes out!!”

    The third old man says “I have a much bigger problem. Every morning about 9 ‘oclock I take the biggest pee and poo you could possibly imagine !”

    The other two men scratch their heads and say
    “what’s so bad about that?”

    He says – “I don’t get up till eleven!!!”

  77. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Kokinos Kolos seems to have disapeared Rock. I demand his reinstatement.

    We were linked with Sol, Rocky. Telly, who happens to know Frank Mcklintock told me about it weeks before. hahaha

  78. RockyLives says:

    Ah… Heard it on the olive vine then. That makes sense 🙂

  79. Ian Ure Face says:

    No hair net Stretch, but it sounds like didit has and he`s caught some crabs !. hahaha

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    Bald Bill is invited to a costume party. He rushes to the costume shop. He tells the shop owner that he wants a costume that will hide both his bald head and his wooden leg. The store owner goes to the back of the store, and returns with a pirate costume. “This will cover your head with a bandanna, and your wooden leg will look just like part of your costume.”

    “That’s not going to work,”said Bald Bill. “I asked for a costume that covers both my baldness and my wooden leg.”

    The store owner apologizes, and returns to the back of the store. He returns a few minutes later, carrying a monk’s habit. “This long robe will cover your wooden leg, and your bald head will seem to be just part of the costume.”

    Bald Bill is irate. “I said I wanted a costume that would cover both my baldness, and my wooden leg!”

    The store owner apologizes again to Bald Bill, and returns to the back of the store. He returns with a jar of molasses, which he hands to Bald Bill.

    “What am I supposed to do with this?” Bald Bill asks.

    The store owner replies,”Pour this molasses on your head, and stick your wooden leg up your butt”.

    “Then you’ll look like a caramel toffee apple”.

  81. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GN5, hahaha. Poor old boy. He should realy set up his bedroom in the toilet.

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    That must mean only one thing – it would be perfect if we had a team that performed as incompetently as Arsene manages ?

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    Belfastgooner this is brilliant:

    “I think that both Arsene and IG have done a remarkable job.I think one of IGs main goals was to honour Arsenal’s tradition of integrity. MU I think bought out various sponsorship deals to earn more elsewhere but we fulfilled our commitments which says a lot for our word and reputation despite the potential loss of revenue. We have a lot to be proud of.”

    It made me realise that by honouring our existing deals even though the world and his wife knew there were better deals to be had out there will eventually lead to even stronger deals going forward. Both Emirates and whoever signs kit manufacturing deal know they will be investing in a Long Term partnership and not a fly by night.

  84. Ian Ure Face says:

    So what would you do Arsene, if you were manager ? Bruce Rioch is still in charge isn`t he ?. hahaha

  85. Ian Ure Face says:

    Shit…Arsene`s disappeared !. I thought I had discovered a new manager called Arsene !. I was going to be his agent !.

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    Ian,

    We were talking to ourselves.

  87. Belfastgooner says:

    thanks GIE
    The future’s bright for the good guys at THOF!

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    Belfast the future is bright indeed, lets just hope unlike the old mobile phone advertising slogan it’s not:

    The future’s bright, the future is an orange away kit 😀

    Talking of away kits the purple/black is gone as it was only for 12/13 so there are some pics of Theo online back in a yellow away kit…looks very nice. But club hasn’t announced yet.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually the other thing that gets me are fans ability to moan about anything and everything if they have decided the club is not going in the direction they want.

    Take last seasons release of the home kit….”blue? When did we ever have blue on our shirts” followed by declaration of keeping money in pockets and toys being thrown from the pram. The answer of course to when did we ever have blue could be answered by a quick look at some kits worn in the GG era.

  90. weedonald says:

    Gazidis is no angel but he is among the better CEO’s in Football. It is high time that gooners everywhere realize that he, Kroenke and Wenger make a strong team and that they share a common philosophy…….something a few of our so-called supporters could learn a thing or two about.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Weedonald,

    That’s a good point about Kroenke and Wenger sharing a common philosophy along with IG, and I have long thought that criticism of SK’s lack of Arsenal/Soccerball history was irrelevant.

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,

    For heaven’s sake don’t get up on account of my being alone on here.

    I have work to do, but as often, I’ll keep AA to one side of the screen.

  93. chas says:

    Excellent post, Rocky.
    Arsenal, a well-run club?
    Nah, couldn’t be true, what would we moan about?

  94. The font says:

    I’ve heard wenger could be in the market for a swede

  95. chas says:

    Ulrika?

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,

    The In-stadium nibbles for a kick off

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Two Swedes maybe. Ulrika AND Sven?

  98. chas says:

    In-stadium nibbles?
    Only a fool would purchase stuff inside the ground.
    Certainly not anyone who’d paid for the most expensive seat in world football. 🙂

    What would be on the menu if you ran it, Micky?

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Chas,

    So many things would be so, so different if I ran the place 🙂

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For starters, I am frankly shocked and appalled at what’s on offer in terms of pre match entertainment for the young, fertile and frisky young gentlemen who flock to the place in such great numbers.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Micky there must be a post in your pre-match proposals

  102. The font says:

    Bayern lettuce sign. Kos

  103. The font says:

    Hamburg are in for wilshere will he become a wilshere ham

  104. Big Raddy says:

    chas. That had me crying with laughter. I love the Big Yin

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Font. I would like to see us sign Suarez. He is a Little Gem 🙂

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Lads,

    Must leave now.

  107. chas says:

    This was recommended for me on youtube.
    No idea why.

  108. The font says:

    What about oxtail chamberlain or pat rice on the menu

  109. The font says:

    Big raddy I have heard chelsea have a romaine
    And we we may be resigning gus Cesar

  110. The font says:

    What about Dennis the iceberg bergkamp

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Font. Keep em coming.

    Sadly, I have to go to work on this bright sunny summer’s morning.

  112. Guys – did you know that BT offers free premiership footy viewing for their broadband subscribers? I can confirm that BT broadband is bloody good and customer services greatly improved. I am happy I returned to BT.
    Can I have my £50 sellers fee now 🙂

  113. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    ….. New post ……..

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