Everton’s Slump Shows The Value Of Wenger

Well that was unusual.

I actually enjoyed the last game of the season, rather than hiding behind the sofa anxiously hoping we would not get pipped at the post by the unwashed of N17.

As it was, we went into the final day knowing that we were going to finish fourth, regardless of the result against Norwich and regardless of whatever happened with the teams above and below us.

In a season that promised so much for so long it’s ultimately a bit disappointing, but let’s not undervalue the achievement of qualifying for the Champions League places yet again.

After we got spanked at Everton with only five league games to go it was understandable to think our proud record of top four finishes was hanging by a thread.

The Toffees suddenly had fourth place in their own hands: win their remaining games and they would be above us, even if we gained maximum points from our final fixtures.

They had the momentum of an amazing winning run (of the kind that powered us to Arsene Wenger’s first English league championship in 1998) and were relishing being part of the great Merseyside revival.

It all looked on: Liverpool would win the league and Everton would enter the big time by grabbing the last CL place.

But it’s not as easy as that, is it?

They started well – following up their win over us by taking all three points away at Sunderland but then…

Well, what did happen then?

Simply put, they caught a nosebleed.

It was a thrill being the chasing horse coming up on the rails, but suddenly they were out with the leading pack and things looked very different.

Next up was a home game against Crystal Palace – three points in the bag, surely? But no, Everton crashed to a 2-3 home defeat. A win over Manchester United briefly restored confidence and hope, but then an away loss at Southampton took the wind right out of their sails. By the time they faced Manchester City in the penultimate match of the season they knew the game was up.

None of this is meant to disparage Everton. They had a great season and Martinez showed what the club might have been capable of achieving in previous years if they had had a less negative manager than David Moyes.

But what happened to Everton also – for me – underlined the skill and importance of our own boss.

Year after year, despite the odds stacked against him, he has managed to get that top four finish.

(Incidentally, you have to be either Spudtastically stupid or willfully mischievous to buy into the canard that our manager thinks “fourth place is a trophy”. He correctly identified getting into the Champions League as one of the priorities of any season’s campaign, but clearly does not equate it with winning silverware. And if you doubt whether it should be considered such a priority, ask Totteringham, Everton or even Manchester United how much they would give to hold the “fourth place trophy” this year).

The truth is, when it came to the crunch, Wenger was better than Martinez at getting his players over the line.

Forget the relative abilities of the two squads: Everton were the form team in the Premiership with players coveted by the top clubs (Baines, Coleman, Barkley, Mirallas, the loanee Lukaku to name but a few).

But our manager got his injury-ravaged squad to do the business when Martinez was unable to do the same with his mostly fit squad.

Wenger’s experience, skill and ability to motivate his team came to the fore.

He has not had a flawless season – far from it. Those embarrassing away defeats at Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton are like snogging a Spudette – they leave a nasty taste in the mouth (or so I’m told). Serious improvement in our approach to the equivalent games next year is a must.

But we are in the CL spots for the 17th consecutive year. Just think about that – the SEVENTEENTH consecutive year. You don’t achieve that level of consistency without being exceptional, and Arsene Wenger is.

All of which goes to show that we are very lucky that he has decided to stay at Arsenal, regardless of what happens in the FA Cup Final.

While a noisy minority of our own fans would like him to leave, just about every other leading club in England would love to have him in charge.

RockyLives

 

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140 Responses to Everton’s Slump Shows The Value Of Wenger

  1. VCC says:

    Great uplifting post Rocky. Just what we need this week, leading to the FA Cup final.

    Yes Wenger came up trumps again. Everything crossed for 17:00 Saturday, 17th May 2014. COYG.

    “Like snogging a spudette” …”They leave a nasty taste in the mouth” classic Rockyism 🙂

  2. LB says:

    “Like snogging a spudette”……brilliant.

    Great read Rocky and every word on the money.

  3. KiwiGooner says:

    Great article and spot on regarding Wenger. We are lucky to have him and in him we trust. Yes, a different approach is needed against some teams next season but it wouldn’t have been 17 years of CL football without him. Looking forward to Saturday; COYG

  4. Rocky
    That is MAGIC. The trouble is it is “grown-up” and a few pratts won`t understand a word you`ve written .Spend some F**king money”
    I read in the Times yesterday, that in 3 games if shots from Giraud and Ozil and gone in instead of hitting the bar and post we would have won the league by 2 points. That is apart from some woeful refereeing. We are that close
    OK, a few teams could say the same.
    And Rocky, I`ll have to take your word on “snogging a spudette”, I`d rather tape my mouth up.
    Keep up the good writing. You are one of the few worth reading. “Uplifting” as VCC says

    Thanks !

  5. Phanz says:

    Are u serious???!!! The fact that Everton is the club that were our serious rival is a problem in itself. A club of our infrastructure and resource should surely be competing at the top table. As Arsene Wenger is the second highest paid manager in the premier league, the question I ask is, how much longer is mediocrity acceptable?

  6. ByrnsterBlue says:

    Errrmmm, you lot were the team who were in top spot for the longest. You lot had the league in your own hands and Wenger and co blew it…they did not earn 4th spot they blew top spot…your season SHOULD be regarded as a failure.

  7. arnie says:

    ha ha ha ha, brilliant stuff as ever, Rocky. 🙂 🙂 “snogging a spudette” got me rolling from side to side, so much and for so long, I missed out on the 4th place trophy. 😛

  8. arnie says:

    Everton is a classy club with a decent and capable man as manager. But they never deserved 4th place with borrowed players. Build a team, Martinez, and then we can talk again next year. 🙂 🙂

  9. Phanz says:

    Am I correct in thinking 4th place is seen as an achievement, when we pay the highest prices in Europe?

  10. David Hooper says:

    Sorry I just have to disagree with this. You happen to remember all your clubs injuries and that is why you had a bad spell. Then you state that you finished higher than Evertons largely fit squad. Well just as injuries stopped you winning the league, injuries to 8 players during Evertons last few games stopped Everton getting 4th. Jagielka, Pienaar, Mirralas, Barry (could not play against Man City) Distan and others missed most of our last few games. Well done to Arsenal for getting 4th but you got your best players back at the same time as Everton lost theirs.

  11. arnie says:

    unhappy with paying the prices to see your team qualify for CL 17 years in a row? c’mon please give it a break, and let some other deserving Gunners get to see the good guys play.

  12. pablobrown says:

    Everton had a near full strength squad? Jagielka, Distin, Kone, Pienaar, Deulofeu, Gibson, Traoré, Mirallas (last three games) and Oviedo have been missing for large parts of the season.

  13. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Brilliant Rocky

    its simple really, Arsene Wenger is taken for granted. How many clubs would have been able to reverse there fortunes after such heavy away defeats? This is testimony to Arsenes man management that despite the circumstances he can somehow make the players “believe”,

    We were not good enough to win the title. Its not Arsene or the Clubs fault, its just the way it is at the moment.

    The critics want Arsene to lay the golden egg but rarely look at what we are up against. They dismiss City and Chelseas fortunes as irrelevant or the little fact that Utd have one of the largest turnovers in the world.

    The only issue I take with your article is the “snogging a spudete” jibe. The way my luck is going I would quite happily snog a spud, never mind a spudette.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  14. NW says:

    CL games are burdens for Arsenal because the team is thin and people get injured all the time and kept out for far too long.

    On the other hand, with the team heavily in debt the income is essential. So it is really a balance between the two.

    This is not a good year. The team has inproved since middle of last season. The young players have matured. A few quality (to excellent) players with experience are added. It is a bit difficult to compare to City but it is a team at least as good as Liverpool and probably Chelsea.

    It would be a bad season if the team does not get FA.

    If they take it back to the stadium in a few days time, it would be a descent season.

    What happen to Everton is similar to Arsenal. It is called hitting the wall for long runner. You do so well until a point you can give no more and collapse. Arsenal hit the wall early but climbed back. Everton lasted a bit longer but fell to the ground close to the finishing line.

  15. Tomas says:

    Don’t kid yourself. If Arsenal lose the FA final to a lowly Hull City , it will be next to impossible for Wenger to continue as our club’s manager regardless of what type of deal he signs. If you thought the media and fan pressure of a nine year trophy drought was bad , you haven’t seen nothing yet.
    Failure to win the FA cup will render Wenger incapable of winning another trophy with Arsenal ever again.

  16. arnie says:

    I appreciate that the days are getting warm, the sun is belting down, the summer is here and now. Very tempting to come out of the woodwork. No wonder the woodworms are creeping out of their hiding.

    Unfortunately, Arsene has led us to achieving CL football yet again, for the 17th year in a row, and unlike any of the other also rans in the EPL. A trophy also beckons. I pity the woodworms. We will organise a mass farewell for them soon, but until then, it is going to be painful for them. My sincere sympathies. 😛

  17. ByrnsterBlue says:

    £42m on Ozil? How quickly The Arse forget that they also spend big at times…and yet Everton with their second highest transfer fee paid of £13m were still able to takes your team apart at Goodison. Arsenal need a new defence and another couple of strikers. That’s a lot of money that won’t be spent in the next transfer window…more of the same next season I reckon…4th Place trophy to compete for again.

  18. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Tomas, its you who are kidding yourself if you think our Board will react to a one off game.

    One of the main reasons we have stayed near the top for 17 years in a row is that we have a sensible structure and non reactionary board

    Short sighted fan pressure or sensationalist journalism will have no bearing on Arsene Wengers future

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, I can’t argue with anything you’ve written, the proof is in the history of the last 17 years. I think that when your fate is in another club’s hands (i.e. mathematically we will not achieve 4th if another club wins all its games), there is always concern.

    I’m not going to lament anything this season but I do expect us to show improvement in some areas (tactically) next season.

    We have put ‘Everton’ in the title which means it will come up on their NewsNow stream. I like the toffees (more than pool), so far comments from their supporters have been respectful.

  20. Vinay says:

    Everton cannot be compared to us ever, we are zillion miles ahead of them and will always be. We are The Arsenal and with due respect they are everton.

    Wenger’s greatness can never be doubted but everyone has a shelf period and i believe the great man’s is coming to an end.
    Win the FA cup, be there for one more season and then adieus to the greatest manager of the generation.

  21. Phanz says:

    Our injury problems do not take a lot of analysis. If you don’t include Nic b, we’ve used 21 players the same amount as Liverpool, however we’ve had champs league and fa cup to deal with, approx an extra 10 games, that’s pretty much a quarter of a prem season. Man city, Chelsea, spurs, united, saints, and Everton have all used more players than us. As with anything, if it’s over used it breaks as can be seen with our players, to be honest we have been lucky Giroud hasn’t been injured for any real length of time. Squad depth and rotation is clearly the managers responsibility. The point about the champions league for 17 years is an interesting one, to be in a competition for 17 years and not have one it I wouldn’t consider a success, if you’re in it to win it that is…

  22. arnie says:

    Fair enough, Phanz. Agree about Giro. He has been a big hero, unsung may I add, for us this year. He took such a lot of battering. And every time, he picked himself up and got on with teh game as if nothing had happened. 🙂

    On CL, I think there are two other positives, apart from the money of course. First, qualifying for CL 17 years in a row means we were fighting hard for the EPL crown all these years. We were there or thereabouts. It would have been good if we won some more times, but still fighting for it almost right to the end is no mean feat.

    Second, CL gives us the opportunity to fight against the best clubs in the world. Of course, in addition to the numpties from Everton or down the swamps in N17, which we do anyway in the EPL. Bayern, Barca and the lot. And we have not done that poorly against the top guns. Yes, we have not been crowned the best club in Europe, but that is not shame to compete with the best.

  23. Phanz says:

    Agreed Giroud has been immense given the circumstances. At times I’ve thought he’s been “sent up s*it creek without a paddle”. Definitely an unsung hero this season. Champs league is great I agree, but a question, would u prefer to have qualified for it for let’s say 8 years and have actually won it once? All I really want is arsenal to be the team the set up deserves…

  24. VCC says:

    TMHT….was your mouth out.

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    Well done Rocky, you’ve been missed for the past two weeks, great to see you back.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Phanz,

    If we had only made 8 out of the past 17 CL’s then we would be out approximately 270 million pounds.

    I do, however, see your point a CL win would be marvelous – but its still an achievement that we can look forward to, hopefully before AW retires.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    BR,

    Congratulations on becoming a grandfather, its a wonderful experience especially knowing that she carries with her some of your genes.

  28. chas says:

    Nice one, Rocky.
    Everton really couldn’t handle the pressure of being above us.
    They would have struggled to get any points in the CL next season anyway once their loan signings return to their parent clubs.

    “Canard” made me think of Mike Tyson, as in ‘he’s fah canard’.
    Lovely word, ta.

  29. arnie says:

    Phanz, GN5: 🙂

    GN5: you have been sorely missed as well. 🙂

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Phanz. Good question. Yes – I would swap appearances for just one CL win.

    Glory over Finance

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    I have always had a soft spot for the Liverpool clubs, my wife is from Liverpool and many of my friends are/were either Everton or Liverpool supporters.

    One of my best friends was Ray Bowen, who passed away two years back, Ray played for both Liverpool and Spurs in the 40’s and early 50’s. Sadly, Ray was driving in London when he was rear ended by a London bus which pushed him into the back of the car in front of him, Ray’s left leg was pushed up into his hip and he ended up on crutches for the rest of his life – close to 50 years.

    He was great friends with the Everton directors and owners and he traveled down to London for the 1995 FA Cup Final on the team train and sat with the players. I have seen pictures of him in the Everton dressing room with the FA Cup. A great man who I miss a great deal.

    Anyway although I would have been bitterly disappointed to miss out on 4th place and a spot in the CL it was consoling to think that it would go to Everton.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Tim Sherwood sacked as Tottenham manager

    Tottenham have parted company with manager Tim Sherwood after the club’s sixth-placed finish in the Premier League this season.

    “We agreed an 18-month contract with a break clause at the end of the season and we have now exercised that option,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

    Sherwood, 45, took over after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas last December and signed a deal through to the end of the 2014-15 season.

  33. Adrian says:

    This season has been an improvement in terms of points amassed, but if it wasn’t for our FA cup final this weekend I’m fairly confident a great portion of the fans would call it anything but successful. Like someone mentioned above the fact that we were initially gunning for the title while Everton were realistically challenging for fourth at best and yet managed to push up up
    till the last few games of the season doesn’t really make this compaison a fair one, particularly with the squad we had. And I for one actually think this final will have an impact on whether or not we’ll still be seeing Wenger at the Emirates next season. Think back to the Villa game, the fans around the stadium were already at boiling point. Wouldn’t be surprised if a cup final failure would be the last straw. Similiarly I think Wenger would seriously start questioning whether staying is really the best decision for both him and the club.

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Levy is good for us because he keeps Spurs exactly where they belong.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Two managers sacked already.

    I feel sorry for Sherwood – he was given a poisoned chalice. No-one – not even Wenger could turn around Spurs.

    Sherwood should never have taken the job because instead of being a coach at the club he loves and having a steady income he is now in the position of having to compete in the management merry-go-round with managers who have far more experience.

    Stiil – ultimately – who cares?

    Next Spud? Poyet? De Boer? Moyes?

  36. chas says:

    I wouldn’t swap the 17 CL appearances for one CL win.
    I don’t know if that’s because attending games makes me want to see some quality fixtures every season.

    Winning the trophy would be great but, as with any cup competition, it is possible to completely spawn it as Chelsea did which would take some of the gloss from it for me.

    Regular quality over one-off spawn for me. 🙂

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky your posts always seem to bring out a multitude of diverse opinions, many of which raise the hair on the back of my neck.

    It takes a huge effort on my part to stay silent and let them have their say………but I refuse respond and find myself getting drawn into yet another circular argument.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    Right off to do my morning exercises, back in an hour or so……..

  39. RA says:

    Other than, Citeh’s fans, all the fans of every other club will have at least a passing ‘what if’ thought.

    I am no different, and although what is cannot be changed, it helps to counteract all the negative thoughts of those inclined to be critical.

    For example, if only we had not given away two late and rather tame equalzing goals to Everton and Swansea, the extra 4 points would have lifted us into 3rd above the big spending Chavs.

    Such fine lines between winning or losing cannot be down to the manager – but I am sure some will blame him regardless. but I do not care what they say 🙂

  40. RA says:

    Chas,

    I figure I will go with the spawndoolicks too. 🙂

  41. kelsey says:

    As usual you have a great way with words Rocky.

    17 consecutive years of CL football

    17th.May is the Cup Final

    17th January my birthday

    As To Sherwood that I believe is the 12thPL manager to be sacked this season and Pardew will be most probably number 13

  42. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sad times with Tim been sacked.

    He, along with Christian Gross, were my favourite Spurs managers

    The good news of course is that he can now enjoy the FA Cup final without the need of a closet.

    Once were 3-0 up, maybe Arsene can make his day by inviting him into the dugout?

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Vinay says we can’t be compared to Everton, because we operate on a different level – the fact that competing for fourth spot is a great season for Everton but a disappointing for us would seem to bear that out.

    But in another sense Vinay is completely wrong. One of the reasons Arsenal fans older than 30 often (of course, not always) have so much gratitude for Wenger is that Arsenal have moved up in the world thanks to him. In truth, there are two established big clubs in Engalnd, Man U and Liverpool (though Liverpool have been doing their best over the past 15 years to piss that away). Both Arsenal and Everton are part of a second tier, that also includes Spurs, Chelsea, Man City, Villa, Newcastle, Leeds and perhaps Sunderland. By pure managerial genius, we have been elevated over the past 18 years into the top category, something only the purloined oil riches of Abu Dhabi and Russia have been able to match. That is the magic that is Arsene Wenger, and whatever his faults and whatever his mistakes, they are as nothing compared to that singular achievement, especially when he also operated for eight years without any meaningful funding beyond what he could generate. The danger is we take his achievements for granted.

    Nice post, Rocky. As some of the Toffees have pointed out, you’re a bit harsh on them as regards injuries, they’ve had plenty too, but your point is still a good one. Much as I like Everton, the truth is we finished ahead of them because we’re the better football team. We also finished below thother three because we’re not yet good enough, but we can continue to progress and catch up.

  44. LBG says:

    Chas – “regular quality rather than one off spawn”. Bravo! History, and class rather than you know what! And Premier League rather than Champions League always!

  45. Bayonne Jean says:

    TMHT: AW inviting Gooner Tim to the bench at Wemberly would be priceless. And better yet if he forced him to wear that great coat with the funky zipper over Tim’s gilet…..

  46. Tomas says:

    Terry Mancini Hair Transplant

    Losing to Hull City would be an “one of” you say.
    I must have a different definition of “one of “than yours.
    What about losing to Birmingham , Blackburn Rovers or Bradford City to name a few recent ones.
    Besides , I never said Wenger wasn’t going to be offered a new deal. It’s been on the table for six moths now. What I did say was losing to Hull City would be catastrophic to Arsenal players’ psyche anf fans’ as well and the constant media bombardment would be even more unrelenting .

  47. jnyc says:

    Great read Rocky. I love Arsene, as you know. Last summer I took the stance of – ill give him till deadline day to show us he is serious about building a title winning team. He made us proud by adding a super quality player.

    I am frustrated by some of the obvious needs this team has, and I am going into the summer with the same — wait and see attitude. We have the cash….. thanks to Wenger. Lets see if we strengthen. No excuses really. And it is worth mentioning, that waiting till the last minute of the window, especially in a world cup year, is dangerous. Also leaves us with an unsettled team at the start, which has often hurt us over the years.

    FA cup would be beautiful for Arsene and the boys. I’d love to see them celebrate.

  48. RA says:

    Pretty much agree with all that, 26.

    that bugger must be reading my mind – I will have to change my aluminium foil hat

    Before the arrival of Monsieur Wenger we had started the climb out of mid-table obscurity with very welcome trophies, courtesy of Gorgeous George Graham, but had no real identity as a footballing team and very little financial credibility as a ‘big’ club.

    Everton were always on a par with Arsenal in those days, but AW changed all that, and the Toffees have struggled financially for a long time in comparison.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    Just been looking into this Aurier fella who’s supposed to be replacing Sagna.

    6 goals and 6 assists this season from RB and has played CB a few times too this year. Made it into the Ligue 1 team of the season even though his club finished mid table. Only 21 years old and would cost around £8m so they say.

    All sounds pretty positive. Only downside….African Cup of Nations! 😦

  50. LB says:

    Oh, (whiny cry) but I want to see Arsenal win the CL so much.

  51. RA says:

    Hi jync,

    And well said.

  52. JM says:

    Manchester United (1 Premier league in last 3 seasons)
    (an established global brand with international appeal)
    – Shirt sponsor (new): Chevrolet (£45 to 53million/year for 7 years)

    Liverpool (1 League Cup in last 3 seasons)
    (Still appeals with a large following internationally)
    – Shirt sponsor: Standard Chartered (£20million/year till 2015/2016)

    Manchester City (2 Premier leagues in last 3 seasons)
    – Shirt sponsor: Etihad Airways (£40million/year for 10 years)

    Chelsea (1 Champions league, 1 Europa league, 1 FA Cup in last 3 seasons)
    – Shirt sponsor: Samsung (£18million/year till 2015/2016)

    Arsenal ()
    – Shirt sponsor: Emirates (£30million/year till 2018/2019)

    Spurs ()
    – Shirt sponsor: AIA (£16million/year till 2018/2019)

    Everton ()
    – Shirt sponsor: Chang (£16 million/year till 2016/2017)

    ———————-

    Mauricio Pochettino might take over at Spurs.
    (Southampton could be facing key backroom staff and players exits this summer. Ex-CEO Nicola Cortese resigned earlier – he has been influential in: getting the late Markus Liebherr to buy the club when they were in administration, recruiting Pochettino and signing a number of their current 1st team players)

  53. RockyLives says:

    Good day and thanks for all the comments, including from the Evertonians.

    Regarding injuries, the final Injury League Table of the season has – you’ve guessed it – Arsenal in No 1 position with a total of 289 “player weeks” lost.

    Everton suffered too, finishing in fourth place with 194 player weeks lost.

    But even so, the gap between first and fourth in that particular table means Arsenal lost 50% more “player weeks” to injury than Everton did this season, so trying to say we were equally blighted is plain wrong.

    As to the point that Arsenal also “blew it” but not hanging on to top spot – I agree. But having blown it we still had the fortitude to do what was needed to secure fourth.

    http://injuryleague.com/injury-league/

  54. RA says:

    Ooops, sorry, jnyc, my fingers cannot spell four letters in the correct order. @ 2:32 😦

  55. RockyLives says:

    Despite the disappointment of dropping out of the title race, this HAS been a season of progress – and will go down as a very good season if we can lift the Cup.

    In 2009/10 we ended up 11 points behind the champions.
    In 2010/11 we were 12 points adrift.
    In 2011/12 we were 19 points adrift.
    In 2012/13 we were 16 points adrift.

    This season the gap was only 7.

    How can that not be progress?

  56. RA says:

    JM,

    If you include the new ‘kit sponsorship’ deal with Puma, £150m over 5 years, which is the biggest such deal, (likely to be overtaken by Manure soon, I think) it does not change your point, but highlights the changes in our financial fortunes.

  57. RA says:

    I need to say sorry, to you too, Rocketman.

    It seems I am becoming more absent minded, as I forgot to say I enjoyed your Post and it was up to your usual high standards. 🙂

    blinking typical, you get used to a Monday Rocket missive, and then he goes and changes it. Puts my week all out of kilter.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Redders 🙂

    Sorry I haven’t been around too much lately. Damn work!

  59. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    Thanks for your (as always) kind comments.

    I wish i could join you in Mississauga on Saturday – perhaps we’ll get to watch a game together next season (with Neamann too).

  60. JM says:

    @ RA May 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I only placed the emphasis the shirt sponsorship deals of the respective clubs here, as a guide on international brands/companies investing/sponsoring the top tier PL clubs.

    Chevrolet (for Man United) – US automobile maker

    Standard Chartered (for Liverpool) – British multinational banking and financial services company based in Hong Kong

    Etihad Airways (for Man City) – flag carrier airline of the UAE.
    Samsung – South Korean multinational conglomerate company.

    Emirates (for Arsenal) – international airline based in Dubai, UAE.

    AIA (for Spurs) – insurance company based in Hong Kong.

    Chang(Thai Beverage) (for Everton) – Thailand largest beverage company.

    For kit manufacturers deals, they are mostly from the Big 3: Nike (Man City, Man United), Adidas (Chelsea) & Puma (Arsenal), the exceptions being Warrior (Liverpool), Under Armour (Spurs), Umbro (Everton).

    Man City: Nike deal (£12million/year for 6 years)

    Man United: pending renewal from Nike or a new sponsor. (IMO, Nike might defer from sponsoring 2 big clubs based within the same city/district. There has never been such an occurrence anywhere in Europe, e.g. Real & Atletico; AC Milan & Inter – different kit manufacturers etc)

    Chelsea: Adidas deal (£300million for 10 years; or £30million/year)
    – their “bonus” award for doing well in Europe in recent seasons. 1 CL and 1 Europa titles.

    Arsenal: Puma deal (£150million for 5 years; or £30million/year)

    Liverpool: Warrior deal (£150million for 6 years; or £25million/year)

    Spurs: Under Armour deal (£50million for 5 years; or £10million/year)

    Everton: (New) Umbro deal (£30million for 5 years; or £6million/year)
    – previously they were sponsored by Nike.

    Real Madrid’s £31million/year deal with Adidas is currently the highest.

  61. jnyc says:

    😉 RA. I hope we are working on some moves now, especially if sagna and vermaelen leave as we suspect. No need to scramble at the end of window if we are professional about it.

    Btw I liked Arsenes demeanor after sundays game. Serious, nothing to celebrate, as our season is not over. A job to finish this week.

  62. RA says:

    No need to apologise Rock, you have to make a living. 🙂

    There are seminal moments in everyone’s life, and changing from employed to self-employed is one of them.

    Actually, that sets me to thinking that one man’s seminal, or watershed, moment can have widespread ramifications for many others, rather like when a pebble is thrown into a still pond, the ripples can spread to encompass the whole watery expanse.

    In your case, the change in your work environment may have led to your Post moving from its usual Monday slot to this Tuesday. The consequence has been to pull my ordered weekly schedule asunder.

    Just think of the possible outcome of our great manager’s eventual decision as to whether to stay for another couple of years, or not. Either way, that watershed moment is going to have a cataclysmic effect on the club, one way or another, and in doing so it will affect hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of fans for good or ill.

    If we could see into the future, as opposed to guessing at the future, I am sure that many of the disconnected fans might take a different view of the corrosive effect on Arsene, and on his decision making, of the many misguided or plain wrong wishes or hysterical demands for him to leave, without giving any consideration to the unintended, or unforeseen consequences of their actions.

    Their own seminal moments, if you like.

    do you know, I am going to leave that thought there, and not expand on it, as this has all the makings of a boring Post, and I am unutterably opposed to making my fellow bloggers suffer my non-munificent musings! 🙂

  63. RA says:

    Spot on jnyc. 🙂 And my guess is that there are moves afoot, and AW is just trying to cool expectations.

  64. RA says:

    Thanks, JM.

    I only mentioned Arsenal’s deal as it reinforced your earlier point. 🙂

    The new TV deal, £60m (?) + kit deal £30m + Shirt sponsorship deal£30m is mighty impressive.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    6 players on 100k a week = 30m.

    We need the money!

  66. kelsey says:

    All the positives about Wenger that I have read are a tribute to a great manager,but as you know I have several reservations as we move forward.
    I will write a post about it after Saturday.

  67. Thanks Rock around the clock…….double checked I put the “l” in there !. hahaha

    Congrats BR !. A Viking Gooner ?.

    I liked GIE`s time lasped recording of his demolition of the garden !….although, I would have preferred watching the one from Gregs the Bakers security camera in Norwich, when he broke in and made all the products magically disappear in 10 seconds and that was in real time !. 😆

  68. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all.
    Good post Rocky boy.
    Its nice to see how most supporters, value what our manager has achieved, Some seem to think that qualifying for Champions League is a given right, and some of the sites i have been on even say they would have liked us to have missed out, just to oust this incredible Manager.

    Wenger is a one off, if he lives another twenty years i hope he is still here, 37 years in champions league still wouldn’t convince some,, but win the league and CL next year and they would have been Stalwart Wenger supporters, since he joined us.

  69. RA says:

    Oh so true, Steve. Oh so true.

    They will all glory in our CL victory and claim they were responsible for making Arsene change his ways. Bollix!

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    Arsene Wenger is most certainly a one off individual, it goes without saying that despite a few warts I believe he’s been the best manager at Arsenal in my lifetime.

    Herbert Chapman comes close but its the incredible consistency for over 18 years that I believe gives Arsene the edge.To achieve what he has done for such a long period is close to unbelievable – yet for the trophy hunters it will never be enough.

    A win on Saturday will mean that along with Alex Ferguson he will have won the most FA Cups in league history – but I guess that will still not be enough for certain people.

    One of these fine days I will write my own version of his career for the AA archives – he deserves a place on our honour roll.

  71. stevepalmer1 says:

    Hiya RA, It used to get up my nose what other supporters have said, but at the end of the day, 17 years just being in the top half of the league is a feat in itself let alone what he has done. I have moaned about some of the things he has said and done, but in all honesty he knows what he is doing.

    Everton are a good club with great support, they now have a decent manager but they have struggled with funds much the same as us, A club with a long history who have been kept in the shadow by their neighbours. This season they just couldn’t muster enough and of course their neighbours got lucky as well, Kind of makes you realise how Spuds feel doesn’t it.

  72. stevepalmer1 says:

    Don’t leave it till he dies N5, as i am sure he would enjoy a good read, as his normal press must be painful

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Big thank you for making the time Rocky. Much appreciated.

    Must say how much I’ve enjoyed the dramas of the last two seasons’ finales, so for me the Norwich game lacked the adrenalin I like from a game.

    Obviously the goals helped enormously.

    Now, I do come a bit unstuck on winning the CL. Absolutely love European nights and the chance to watch the best players from across Europe, so top four is vital for so many reasons, but I really really want to see us lift ‘Ol Big Ears before I peg it.

    Quite like to be in one piece as well, and that possibility decreases virtually every time I leave the house.

  74. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    To be honest, if it wasnt for this site I would have given up Arsenal bloging ages ago. I get disulisioned easy and then turn my attention to hair loss forums or dating sites were I post fake photos and call myself Troy.

    AA is a refuge from imature over reaction or ungrateful wankers who do not deserve the club they purport to support.

    There are regular posters on here who have, and still do express reservations about Arsenes tenure. But they do so in a healthy and respectful way

    I would also like to think that those that are fully committed to Arsene, of which I am one, can also respect those of a different mind set.

    GN5 is the longest serving supporter on here isnt he? If he says that Arsene is our best ever manager, thats good enough for me.

  75. RA says:

    Excellent, Terry darling. 🙂

    For myself, I would tickle the AW haters until they had to change their minds in order to stop laughing, and getting a stitch – especially Crystal Balls Kelsey! 🙂

  76. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, I think you would make an excellent Judge Redders.

    I also believe Kelseys Crystals would very much enjoy a tickle hahaha

  77. Not quite right there, Terry Mancini Hairy Transvestite !. On the sites I visit, I know you as Helen of Troy and you keep pictures of Arsene hidden in a wooden shaped stallions dick !.

  78. When I say…..”sites I visit !”…..I mean the ones……. Ginger Redders told me about !. hahaha

  79. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, what you doing on “Trans and Wigs” Cornwall?

    Your not that carachter “TranAchileas” with the high heel fetish are you? hahaha

    If you are, I want my money back. hahaha

  80. Ahh the good old days, when …Men were women and women were men and tying the knot had nothing to do with being married to the Bounds Green Thigh Strangler !.

  81. RA says:

    Terry,

    The good news is that your special programme is on tonight.

    The Bold, Brash and the Beautiful.
    (Drag Queens/Trannies of London)

    It’s on at 10 pm on Freeview 8, and Sky 117

    [Don’t tell Cockie – he’ll be jealous!] 🙂 🙂

  82. RA says:

    I am trying hard not to laugh at you, Glicster, and failing miserably!! 🙂

    You are a scream! 🙂

  83. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, after a couple of thigh strangles you wont care about whos the man or the women. You will be more concerned about people mistaking you for a human periscope. And not in a good way. hahaha

  84. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Its on record Redders. Cornwall wont be jealous, hes in it. hahaha

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m not sure what balls you guy’s are playing but I’m positive its not footballs.

  86. Nice post. Anyone who thinks finishing in the tip 4 and getting to the cup final is mediocre should have a word with themselves.

  87. I’m glad stevie me and the bindippers didn’t win it. Him, their fans and the whole media wankfest do my head in. City may be obscenely funded but they are bearable

  88. stevepalmer1 says:

    Doesn’t it all feel a little bit strange to all you, that a club that wins the league has also done wrong and have been fined 50 million for their trouble. No matter which way i look at it a fine suggests that the league has not been won by keeping to the rules or am i just nit picking

  89. I think you are right steve.

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    I can confirm Chas does not like spawn….he wasn’t looking too happy after beating Wigan on pens, actually saying he didn’t look happy is unfair maybe just a little less happy than Chas normally looks…I asked “what’s up?” His reply was “not sure I can sing By Far the greatest team when we got a spawny penalty win against Wigan” 😀

    Well said Rocky, in any season there are lots of ifs buts and maybes. We had our fair few. And please would people stop questioning the 4th place is an achievement thing….it is if it wasn’t other managers wouldn’t get sacked for not achieving it.

  91. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening GM doesn’t seem right that a club who over spends because they are wealthy, get a punishment of money,

  92. I wonder if the fine is factored in to their ffp budget.

  93. stevepalmer1 says:

    When we look back over the season and look at the points, I think it would be fair to say that we are the fourth best side. Other teams have been better and the points show that.

    Yes it could be said that we spent more out on one player than most of the rest of the clubs, but the money we spent is what we earned through fair means.

    I feel that our team has over the years been cash starved, and Wenger has done consistently well in getting us to our position.

    I now feel that now the money is coming in, we can spend on what we need without going over. I feel Wenger will have very little to complain about, and i feel he can now go forward and make the purchases that we really need.

    With players leaving on free’s means that replacements will cause little disturbance, and hopefully they settle well

  94. stevepalmer1 says:

    GM, I don’t feel that fines are the way to tackle FFP. Clubs that breach the rules do so because they are cash rich so a fine for doing wrong seems wrong.

    I would suggest points deduction or a penalty that would make them think twice in the future.

  95. arnie says:

    Dont know how we got round to expressing a preference between 17 seasons in CL versus the European crown. Not exactly comparable, IMO. But for whatever it is worth, my vote goes for 17 seasons.

    Add to that one final and quite a few appearances in QF and above, that’s a huge deal. Yes, we have not won the crown, but winning the crown is seriously big. It is effectively also the world club crown. Yes, we care a lot about the EPL trophy, and the FA Cup if I may say so. And rightly so. But the CL crown is much higher IMO.

    We should get there, and I believe we will soon. 🙂

  96. Gööner In Exile says:

  97. I hope she has sorted the prenuptials out !……..at least half his fortune to touch her tits !. hahaha

  98. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve and GM, we need to distinguish between two things, the EPL FFP and the CL FFP, at the moment City and PSG are being held account by UEFA for CL FFP.

    So in short it is more than a financial fine, but as of yet City have not accepted the punishment, by all accounts they are going to be limited to a 21 man CL squad (but still have to have 8 Homegrown players*) and restricted to the same wages as this year (i.e. unable to give any player a pay rise), and then the financial penalty.

    PSG have accepted their fine according to Football Weekly Podcast, they were fined and limited to 1 new signing in the forthcoming window.

    These are first stage fines, they may not ever have to exclude a team from the CL as the teams being penalised with smaller squad sizes and wage freezes would become uncompetitive, so eventually they will start to toe the line.

    The fact that FFP appears to be biting will probably force Liverpool to sell Suarez, as of next season Liverpool’s finances will be scrutinised by UEFA for FFP, the last two seasons would see them fail miserably, so next season they need to cut their cloth (despite the increased revenues from CL) to meet FFP over the three year measurement period.

    I think this is a very encouraging start for the regulations and probably proves a few people wrong.

    * UEFA Homegrown rule is more restrictive than the EPL Homegrown rule.

    In the PL the player needs only to have been at an English or Welsh club for 3 years prior to turning 21 to count as homegrown, the UEFA rules require 4 to be Association Grown (same as EPL rules) and a further 4 to be Club homegrown (from own academy), this is where we have been ready for some time, and the players that are in our squad to achieve these rules are not makeweights. Jack, Ox, Aaron, Theo, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Szczesny all count as club homegrown 😀

    Now lets look at City…..Hart and Richards are the only 2 i can think of as club homegrown, and Rodwell, Clichy, Lescott, Milner and Wright (yes Richard Wright) are the association homegrown. So that means that 21 man squad they are allowed is only going to be 19 (as they can’t fulfil 2 of the club homegrown spots), from which they will have to name Hart and Richards, and then choose 4 of the Association Homegrown, leaving 13 places for the rest of the talent.

    FFP teeth are bared.

  99. 26may1989 says:

    Great comment, Exile. UEFA have started FFP enforcement well. It will be an ongoing task, and we have to hope that any intransigence from PSG, City etc will see harsher punishments. But so far, so good.

    It’s worth remembering that the objective isn’t to attack “financial doping” or to chuck sugar daddy teams out of competitions; the objective is to get everyone to live within their means. Which is why there are no limits on spending on infrastructure and youth set-ups, it’s all about making sure there’s a rational link between real revenues and expenditure on wages and transfers fees.

    But I do sympathise with those running the bigger English clubs these days – they face rules from UEFA and the PL, covering both expenditure and the use of homegrown players. The different sets of rules aren’t harmonised, so the clubs have to comply with four different sets of at the same time. Must be a serious headache to keep an eye on all the variables. But we do know one thing: we are well-placed on all the criteria.

  100. neamman says:

    Put me down as one who Hopes AW stays, as GN5 [?] said..the finest manager in our lifetime, rivalling Chapman.
    As for the CL appearances or a CL cup win.
    Appearances every time as I recognise we need the income, I also … apart from the financial side.. couldn’t give a monkeys about the so called Big teams. I would rather watch Arsenal v Stoke or Palace than watch Arsenal v Real Madrid. I am completely indifferent to the CL and their Big teams.

  101. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great posts GIE & 26

    I have always believed FFP would have clout.

    Despite this beggining some people still dismiss it as a joke yet the squeeze between revenues generated and money spent has been occuring for quite a while.

    Each club has its own cycle. Chelseas investment came earlier so they have had more time to adapt. Its no surprise City and PSG have fallen foul, there income came later so they have had a shorter time to comply.

    Apart form the economics, I dont expect a major legal battle. City may contest the severety of there punishment, but not the rules themselves.

    My reasoning is that this has little to do with Uefa, its more to do with the political clout exerceted by the “traditonal” big clubs of Europe who do not wish to see there status undermined by “johnny come latelys”

    In this respect the Sugar daddy clubs are weak, they are only a handful, the clubs against them are many.

    Its in every ones interest to compromise. The likes of City and Chelsea can cement there position within the elite, but accept that the playing field within that elite will be narrowed.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  102. 26may1989 says:

    Bradley Wiggins looking strong in the Tour of California – a comeback after a poor 2013?

  103. GOONERKAM says:

    Class, loyalty, know how, man managment, moral uprightness , financial knowledge, great sense of humor and visionary. I could go on another paragraph. we are indeed very very lucky to have AW. unconditional love to the ARSENAL is what he gives. I only wish we could return one half back.

  104. GOONERKAM says:

    ROCKY
    nice post. Agree with most. As far as snogging try to snogg the right end next time. 😉

  105. JM says:

    @RA
    May 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Our new sponsorship deals puts us in a better position to compete with most of the elite clubs in Europe for quality players. Hopefully, the board and AW will do well starting this summer transfer window and on the pitch in the coming new season.

    @Gööner In Exile
    May 13, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    What I know of on Man City, they just about meet the 4 club homegrown rule by UEFA with: (Hart, Richards, Dedryck Boyata & John Guidetti). They could also call up Alex Nimely, Karim Rekik & Marcos Lopes from their reserves.

  106. Gööner In Exile says:

    JM figured there would be some that were homegrown and I didn’t know. Point still stands as they would still have to cut some of their star names from the squad for CL.

  107. JM says:

    @Gööner In Exile
    May 14, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Not very much, most of their star players will still be registered in their revised 21 name-list (List A). (Among the squad players who could miss out/ transfer out/ be released this summer: Wright, Lescott, Demichelis, Barry, Garcia, Kolarov).

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting comments on the FFP stuff.

    I do sympathize with the Transplant theory that what it is all about is the Old Guard protecting their interests and position at the top of the game, rather than any moral thinking or belief in “fairness”.

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exile

    No interesting or incriminating footage of Spikey? 🙂

  110. chas says:
  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning Chas

    Is your entire week about Cup Final preparations?

  112. chas says:

    Morning
    Not really.
    Is yours?
    That chap on twatter has been posting half a dozen FA cup related photos every day. Though I liked that ladies one with the wet road, ‘new weekly wash sensation’ advert, rattles, rosettes and smiling faces.

    What are your plans, by the way? Are you driving Johnny bladder up from devon?

  113. chas says:

    Have you got your Final outfit sorted yet?
    Casual open necked shirt, jeans and broken plimsolls?

  114. chas says:

    Shorts, maybe?

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Pick up Bladder ( 🙂 ) 7am
    Leave Devon 7:01
    9:32 Wee break
    Stop, park, Beaconsfield. Pub Lunch. Wee.
    Overland train to Wembley Stadium Station (south side of ground).
    ETA 2:30.
    Where is your boozer, and are tickets required to stand outside?

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I never have and never will wear denim jeans, and never shorts (I’m not seven, and don’t dress for exercise).

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Broken plimsolls? Probably 🙂

  118. chas says:

    We are overnight in Beaconsfield.
    I’d imagine we’ll get there before 12. Maybe 11. Not sure yet.
    So maybe have to leave the bags in the car and check in after we get back as we did for the semi.

    We used the Wembley Stadium station as well obviously.
    JJ Moons first then Green Man, see below.
    2,000 wristbands have been sold for the Green Man. They have a barrier at the entrance to the plot, so you’ll have to queue up. Chary got there after 2 (I think) and couldn’t get in.

  119. chas says:

    Haha, I always wear jeans in the winter and shorts in the summer (mental age of 7).
    When BR said you had prepared for the climb up Wank by donning your broken plimsolls, it made me laugh. 🙂

  120. arnie says:

    motning all.

    Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy left out of France squad. 🙂

  121. chas says:

    GIE
    I couldn’t remember my comment from your ‘spawn’ story. Well not until I read it, that is.
    I do find semi-finals draining, especially after a gallon. The curry on Wembley High Road after perked me up though. 🙂

  122. chas says:

  123. chas says:

    Morning, arnie.
    Don’t you feel sorry for poor Samir?

  124. chas says:

    I keep seeing these photos of George Armstrong and thinking of dandan. I actually thought his avatar picture was of himself at one point.

  125. chas says:

    I think the 9.32 wee break is a bit optimistic. 🙂

  126. arnie says:

    Chas: I feel sorry for both Na$ri and Clichy, as to what could have been if they decided not to chase $$$$ and stuck in with the project at Arsenal. 🙂 Good riddance, though. 🙂 🙂

  127. arnie says:

    Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand head the list of BBC pundits for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

  128. chas says:

    Yep, but Sami “started from the bottom”

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Post sent in case

    Chas
    Plimsolls up Wank? A whole lot worse than that. As you saw from my Munich pics on here, I went to the top of the Zugspitze (highest mountain in Germany). In plimsolls!

    Beaconsfield too eh. Great minds. Same train line. Might come and shout at you over the barrier as we’ll be on that side of the ground.

  130. chas says:

    As your plans were to mount Wank, I keep thinking of Zugspitze as Wank.
    I keep forgetting that Wank was a very disappointing peak.

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great map by the way.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    chas 7.56. True but it does have a happy ending

  133. White Bear says:

    oh dear, I have almost missed a Rocky post, unforgivable !!
    It was a bit of Wenger genius to outmanoeuvre Everton, but it did help that they flopped a bit. But then again, due to the Wenger magic we did not flop

    Rocky – I love it when you say “HE has not had a flawless season ” and then “WE have the forth spot”. He loses sometimes, but win we all do together

    Thank you Rocky, hope you read a few more of your posts during the summer 🙂

  134. arnie says:

    Duck n’ Ant, Peaches, everyone: Just in case we manage to overcome the adventures of Robert the Bruce and his valiant men on Saturday. Are you planning to return home quickly or to celebrate well in to the evening/ night somewhere in the London area?

    In case the latter is an option, any ideas?

    Peaches: we are driving, have to get to North Wales Sunday afternoon, so this was the best option. Will park car somewhere in the London periphery and then take the train in.

  135. Morning all

    I’m just going to hunt down Micky’s post ……… back in a bit …….

  136. arnie – I’ll email you a plan ………

  137. We have a New Post ………………

  138. Vinay says:

    I adore Wenger, i have not seen Arsenal without Wenger being there, i am fan from the 97 season and he was always there. His greatness is unquestionable.

    I also am actually tempted to say for that 1 champions league title, i am ok to miss out on a few seasons of champions league but then that’s fantasy. I still cant get over the loss in the finals, that would have been colossal and a statement of greatness of that team and Wenger, He should have won the UCL atleast once and i think that will be his biggest regret for i cannot foresee us winning it in the next 2 seasons, but stranger things have happened and i pray for the same.

    Win the cup this saturday, win it for him, win it for us but most importantly win it for The Arsenal.

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