Give Us An A: An Arsenal Alterative Alphabet

Throughout the Dog Days of summer, between the euphoria of Cup Final day and the Big Kick-Off for 2014/15, Arsenal Arsenal will be taking its own idiosyncratic amble through the dictionary.

For each letter of the alphabet we will offer up some suggestions for entries that can ultimately go in the Arsenal Alternative Dictionary (available during the pre-Christmas weeks at all branches of Wasterstones or to download direct to Swindle).

Today we start with the letter ‘A’. The numerate among you will quickly have deduced that – with one letter per day – there will be 26 “alternative alphabet” Posts throughout the summer, which should help swallow up a chunk of the silly season. If only Arsenal Arsenal was published in Russian we would be able to fill up even more days, there being 33 letters in the Cyrillic alphabet.

This will be an occasional series, appearing on those days when there is nothing better to write anout.

Naturally you are encouraged to suggest your own entries in Comments.

So let’s get going…


Anfield ‘89

Like 1066 and 1945, the year 1989 will be remembered through the ages as one in which great things happened. Specifically it was on May 26th of that year that our lads, managed by Gorgeous George Graham, went to Anfield for the last game of the season needing to win by 2-0 to clinch the First Division title. No-one gave us a chance and even – at 0-1 in Arsenal’s favour, with the clock ticking down and Steve McMahon running round the pitch giving everyone the finger, few thought we would do it. But cometh the hour, cometh the Micky Thomas… bursting through the midfield… it was all up for grabs – and grab it we did. Probably the most remarkable, unbelievable, spectacular moment in my 44 years of supporting Arsenal.

Arsenal Stadium Mystery

How many other teams can say they’ve had a film based on them? Made in 1939, the film focused on a murder mystery at the stadium. Strangely, our neighbours down the Seven Sisters Road have not yet cottoned onto the idea of entering the movie business, even though they seem baffled every May about who murdered their season…


I love the word ‘arsenal’. A place where munitions are made seems such a brilliant word for a football club to share. In our case the Arsenal in question was the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, South-East London (and a mere hand grenade throw from where I was born). The Royal Arsenal provided the hardware for our troops to defend the nation from the late 17th Century up until its closure in 1994, reaching its peak size during the First World War. And, as you all know, our team started out as the works team for the establishment.

Al Qaeda

While the West lives in fear of more terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Al Qaeda, only the Arsenal stands secure as a place that will never be touched by the terrorists. Rumour has it that Osama Bin Laden was a regular on the terraces when he lived in London in the 1990s. He even bought an Ian Wright shirt for his son Abdullah. His time as a gooner led to him getting his own song: “Osama, woah-woah, Osama, woah-waoh, he’s hiding in Kabul, he loves the Arsenul“.


Players won’t normally get a look-in in this alternative Arsenal alphabet (they belong in the official alphabet), but little Geordie Armstrong, the flying winger of our 1971 Double side, gets a mention because his picture was the avatar for our dear, departed fellow blogger Dandan, who now supports from the great North Bank in the sky.

Avenell Road

I’ve been to Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington and to Fifth Avenue, New York. I’ve got drunk on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and I have walked down the Champs Elysees in Paris. But there is no finer street in all the world than Avenell Road, N5.

Right, that’s half a dozen to get the ball rolling.

Now, over to you…


162 Responses to Give Us An A: An Arsenal Alterative Alphabet

  1. Afterglow – that warm cuddly feeling that comes from watching your team winning some silverware 🙂

  2. A is for Adams!

  3. Adrian says:

    I honestly can’t tell if the Al-Qaeda bit is serious….hahaha.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. Brilliant idea and great post.

    “even though they seem baffled every May about who murdered their season…” 😀

  5. Big Raddy says:


    Abject …. those comedians down the Seven Sisters Rd.

    Alcoholism …. the bravery of Tony Adams to come out and be the first big football star to admit to his demons. It opened the door for others to find help at his own Sporting Chance clinic

  6. Rasp says:

    A1 Rocky 😛

    From my youth A is for Anarchy in the UK
    Nowadays more like arthritis 😦

  7. LB says:

    A is for Arsene Wenger.

    Very kind of you all to leave me that one. I am laughing as write this.

    Clever idea for a post Rocky.

  8. kelsey says:

    A is for anti depressants 🙂 (only I could have said that)

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LB / Kelsey 😀

    Rasp. At least it is not apathy

  10. RA says:

    That’s a cunning headline,

    Are we looking at an alternative alphabet, an alliterative alphabet or a combination of the two? 🙂

  11. RA says:

    Applied to the warring factions of the Gooner family.

    The tactical bollix Arsene uses, according to ‘knowledgeable’ fans. Yawn, yawn.

    Applied to the emphasis placed on the team’s offence, to the detriment of the defence.

    The huge numbers of injuries suffered by our players?

    Applied to many referees.

  12. RA says:





  13. RA says:

    Oh, alright. I’m going now!! 🙂

  14. Rasp says:

    A = addiction, aspirations, absorbing, anaphylactic shock

  15. ai-zed says:

    LB!!!!!!! I wanted wenger!!!!!!!!!!
    Ambition?: something our manager was accused of lacking, along with the board and any who backed their actions
    Arsewipe?: an apt description for Morgan, Durham, Owen
    Abject?: our performances against the top premiership teams 2013/2014
    Acclimatise?: what our foreign players need in their 1st seasons
    Addiction?: what arsenal is to all of us
    Absolute unbridled ecstasy: what I felt when arshavin’s goal went in against Barcelona in 2011

  16. 26may1989 says:

    Arsene, a great man, to and for whom we should all be grateful!

    Like it Rockster, especially the Avenell Road one. And Rasp’s Anarchy in the UK to Arthritis is too true!!

  17. 26may1989 says:

    LB, snap….

  18. Rasp says:

    I’m with ai-zed, A is for Arshavin for my favourite Arsenal goal in the EPL era against Barca – the best team in the world at the time. In that game we got our tactics exactly right and the speed of passing and fluidity of movement that led to Arsh’s perfectly executed finish was breathtaking. The Emirates erupted, I’ll never forget it.

  19. LB says:

    I’m going to beat Chas to this one.

  20. Rasp says:

    This is funny …..

  21. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, I just got goosebumps all over again watching that …. and who should join AA in celebration but Bendy, the subject of yesterday’s post.

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Genius idea Rocky.

    I could not agree more about your Avenell Road choice. Like you, I’ve stared at many great buildings, and always the same:

    “It’s alright, but it certainly ain’t no East Stand Highbury is it?”

    I mean Taj Mahal or East Stand Entrance. Pah, it’s a no brainer.

    I’ve always loved the name Arsenal and our Cannon, so I’ll lob in Armoury and Artillery.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, that Arshavin clip. Nice work LB.

    I was always a massive fan of Viv Anderson, so he goes in the book.

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Row A

    Someone here must sit there. Now I think about it, I think that Hippy Raddy has a season ticket in Row A.

  25. ai-zed says:

    No day has made me prouder to be an arsenal fan/supporter as that day……the dutch silversmith’s goal was something out of this world…..& then andrei arshavin!!!!!!!! the move….bendtner(?) to jack to fabregas to nasri, who holds up beautifully & doesn’t rush, to arshavin……cue madness!!!!!!! still gives me the goosebumps

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ring any bells?
    Fairs Cup Final 1970

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    or Anderlecht

  28. kelsey says:

    No one mentions double A

    Aaron Ramsey

  29. Rasp says:

    AVB for screwing up not one, but two of our most hated London rivals

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ‘cos he got a beard and we still like him 🙂

  31. arnie says:

    Brilliant stuff, Rocky. A1 indeed. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    A is for “Arsenal Arsenal” of course, the distinct haunt of diverse Gooners. 🙂

  32. arnie says:

    ha ha, Micky, what timing! 🙂

  33. LBG says:

    A is for Alma Mater – ones university, school or place of education. HIGHBURY N5 1BU

  34. Rasp says:

    A is for granama …….

  35. Rasp says:

    …. answers on a drapcost 😆

  36. Gooner forever says:

    When it emerged that Osama Bin Laden had been to the Arsenal a pal of mine texted ” Bin Laden is a gooner, Bin Laden is a gooner, la la la la ”

    I naturally replied ” We’re Shi’ite and we know we are, we’re Shi’ite and we know we are “

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky, My most significant letter A’s in relation to Arsenal would be.

    Adams – Mr. Arsenal our irreplaceable Captain who was with us for close to 20 years.

    Anfield- Who could possibly forget May 26, 1989 and Michael Thomas scoring our Championship winning goal in the 91st minute?

    Avenell – my place of birth and the Gunners home for nearly 100 years.

    Arsenal – My lifelong passion, its impossible to explain just how important a part of my life they have been.

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    I thought Bin Laden was a goner?

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    A is for Awkward.

    A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night to meet, and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boy friend that after dinner, she would like to go somewhere private and make love for the first time.

    The boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms.He tells the pharmacist it’s his first time and the pharmacist is very helpful and full of advice. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.

    At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he’d like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

    That night, the boy shows up at the girl’s parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. “Oh, I’m so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!”

    The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl’s parents are seated.The boy offers to say grace and bows his head.

    The boy was deep in prayer, with his head down and the
    girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend,
    “I had no idea you were this religious.”

    The boy turns, and whispers back,
    “I had no idea your father was THE pharmacist.”

  40. Shard says:

    A is for Perry Groves
    B is for Perry Groves
    C is for Perry Groves
    D is for Dennis Bergkamp
    E is for Perry Groves

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    A is for Assassin – it looks like I silenced the blog!

  42. Rasp says:

    No GN5, they’re still trying to work out my @ 12:42 😕

  43. jnyc says:

    Not thrilled about the bin laden part

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Kids should respect us older generation.

    After all we got through school without Google.

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    Female pensioner to her husband.


    You told me you would always love and take care of me, what happened?


    I had no idea you’d live this long!

  46. RockyLives says:

    Gn5 – love that joke 🙂

    Rasp – I liked your 12.42 – tanfastic. One of these days I’ll get round to compiling a Arsenal Arsenal cryptic crossword.

    Well, after Gn5’s amazing magnum opus last year I feel almost embarrassed punting up this silly alphabet idea, but when I read Peaches comment that we probably would not have enough posts to do a new one every day during the summer I thought it might be a bit of fun fodder for the empty days.

    Whenever there;s a real topic of conversation we can run a proper post instead.

    Incidentally, if anyone wants to volunteer to do an Alternative Alphabet Post please pick your letter and just le me know so we don’t double up.

    I’m doing really well – I’ve got as far as B 🙂

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Priest to couple he had just married.

    You can now update your facebook status.

  48. RockyLives says:

    No offence meant – but it is a true story. And the chant was sung on the terraces.

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Old age pensioner showing his grandson a picture of him taken in the 60’s while he was talking on the phone.


    Grandpa why does you phone have a tail?

  50. Bayonne Jean says:

    “A” should be for Aurier; Arsene, sign him up as his price will not put you in arrears…..

    Report in The Guardian is that Sagna is in line for 120K quid a week from the Abu Dhabis for three years. Godspeed and congrats to Bac on his golden parachute! That’s a lot of rhino for the occasional run out at RB behind Zabaleta and as insurance for DeMichelis etc.

    And I wouldn’t put “asshole” in the list as there’d be no room for all the entries therein (e.g., Piers Morgan, Mourinho, Pubis, FatSam, Lee Probert, etc. etc. etc.)

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, from a personal point, A is for Authors.

    My thanks to the many knowledgeable and committed (some who should be 😛 ) patrons of AA who keep us going by writing excellent posts such as yours today. We only exist because you guys are so generous with your time and talent.

  52. RockyLives says:

    Wonder if there should be a Post on whether we want Fabregas back.

    It looks likely he’s going to be leaving Barca this year and heading back to the PL.

    On the one hand I don’t see where he fits in our team unless we sell Ozil…

    On the other I would hate to see him turning out in a ManUre shirt and he is an amazing player.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahem, Rasp.
    So, let’s think, some authors get a smiley-face-tongue-out 🙂
    Mmmm, thinks…

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Would you swap Mesut for Cesc?
    I’m talking 100% footballing attributes. No sentimentality.

  55. JM says:

    A – Alsace region (France)

    Arsene Wenger is from Strasbourg, Alsace region.
    Morgan Schneiderlin, a midfielder at Southampton linked with us, is from Obernai, Alsace region.
    Both of them played for RC Strasbourg.

  56. Rasp says:

    Aha, you spotted my little nuance Micky, but fear not, having a personal banner elevates one to the highest status 😆

  57. Vinay says:

    A is for Arsenal even though we are The Arsenal, i cannot think of anything apart from A for Arsenal, in fact i have taught my 3 year old niece the same as she is learning letters.
    Yes A also is for Arsene Wenger, he is the epitome of the club and he is simply put the boss.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:


    That link is good enough for me 🙂

    Can you link Draxler? (could be a good game this. Brilliant idea)

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:


    And NEVER let it be forgotten, that I got mine before Kelsey 🙂

  60. arnie says:

    Cannot see the problem with having Mesut and Cesc both playing for us. It is a long season, and our deficiencies lie partly in a short squad. No, that is not the issue.

    The issue is, then young guns The Ox, Jack, Gnabry et al may not get much play time.

  61. arnie says:

    Micky OUT, Kelsey IN!!! 😛

  62. JM says:

    @RockyLives May 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    There could be a post on who (player) Arsenal & PUMA SE will want to headline the promotions of new PUMA jerseys for Arsenal FC.

    (1) Any of our players currently staying with our club, sponsored by PUMA:
    Cazorla, Giroud, Arteta, Rosicky, Monreal

    (2) or a new quality A+ signing (sponsored by PUMA):

    Balotelli, Fabregas, Falcao

    (Reus is likely unavailable; he and Jurgen Klopp are the “flagships” in the Borussia Dortmund-PUMA partnership)

    (3) or a new signing (sponsored by PUMA):

    **Griezmann**, Dante, Lichtsteiner, Verratti, Rui Patricio, Begovic, Benaglio, Caulker

  63. RA says:

    Rasper, @ 3:39

    Let’s have a kind word for the non-authors who choose to save the sensibilities of their colleagues, the inestimable AA patrons, from having to read the unnecessary dross contained in any Post they may otherwise wish to inflict onto this classy blog! 🙂

    We – the non-essayists – should be awarded our own special banner. [Well, if Kelsey can get one just for asking, why not] 🙂

  64. RockyLives says:

    That’s such a tough question but (whisper it) I think I would take Cesc over Mesut.

    Sorry Mesut – I love you too, honestly. It’s just that I night possibly love Cesc a little bit more. It’s not you – it’s me, really it is…

  65. Happy Bear says:

    Adebayor? Perhaps not 🙂

    Absolutely amazing then, that’s what we are. Just like the post, thank you Mr Rocky, had me in stiches again.

  66. Happy Bear says:

    I will have more time to blog now – I have exchanged contracts today which means I have insurance for 2 houses now, but no keys

  67. RA says:

    arnie, @ 4:37

    Are you suggesting that either or both of Cesc and Özil would be willing to sit on the bench waiting for the other to get ‘tired’ or injured?

    I suspect that hell would freeze over before either player would agree to that, but in the unlikely event they were agreeable to such a thing, it would be an uneconomical use of scarce funds being tied up on the bench, just as an insurance against injury, especially when we need top quality players out on the pitch.

    If it is a choice of one or the other, it would be Mesut for me. From Cesc’s point of view, the old adage ‘never go back’ must be in the forefront of his mind, and anyway he has had his day with us.
    Time for everyone to move on. 🙂

  68. kelsey says:

    Look RA

    it takes me ten minutes to do a review without crossing one word out,so there 🙂

  69. RA says:

    What a tart that Rocky is.

    ‘Sorry love, it’s not you, it’s just that I want to shag the other bird more!’ 🙂

  70. kelsey says:

    A is for anjoyment in watching Arsenal play.I would like to see a few more anjoyious matches next season than this season.Not good for the a nerves.

  71. RA says:

    I have a banner for you, Oh Hairy One. 🙂


    That will cost you two Posts this summer! 😀

  72. RockyLives says:

    A tart indeed RA.

    And I meant end up going back to Bird No. 1 anyway…

    I reckon Ozil could have a massive season for us next year with Theo back and our all-new shiny 30-goals-a-season striker (ahem).

  73. arnie says:

    Point well taken, Rocky. It is the transfer fee that matters.

    Mesut is now set in the team. If Cesc is offered the chance to compete for a place, either he says YES, in which case he is welcome, or he says NO THANK YOU, in which case he is a coward and not worth the while.

    Mind you, a Cesc in his prime sat on the bench for a considerable period in a Barca team just past its prime. Would a Cesc perhaps past his prime not be willing to fight for a place in an Arsenal team on the ascendant? If he did, he may well be second choice to Mesut. So be it. But he will get enough chances to play for a fantastic team.

    The real issue, as you rightly point out is that, midfield is perhaps not our priority this transfer season. But then we thought so last year as well. Arsene knows best, I guess.

  74. arnie says:

    sorry, that will be Redders. I hand my head in shame. Apols, Redders. 😦

  75. arnie says:

    My excuse is that I was distracted by RA’s pretense to be a non-author in feeble disguise! 😛

  76. arnie says:

    hmmm. Evonne is back full time now. Can we expect a post? 😛

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Fabregas or Ozil ? That is a horrible question and one to be avoided.

  78. RA says:

    Not sure if you were responding to Rocky or me, arnie.

    Offering Cesc the chance to compete with Özil is a luxury the club cannot afford for the reason I previously mentioned.

    Competing with Manure to bring Cesc back, as Rocky suggested is OK but then Mesut would have to go.

    Both players in the team is not realistic in my opinion. [And won’t happen.]

  79. RA says:


    I was mortified by you mistaking me for that awful, fickle Rocky, who is a great author.

    But I forgive you! 😀

  80. Happy Bear says:

    no arnie, I am too exhausted, need time to heal

    Raddy – correct, a horrible question. I don’t think we can ever love Mesut as much as we loved Cesc – he was our baby. Remember “Fabregas, oooooh ooh, Fabregas, oooooh ooh, he’s only 17, he’s better than Roy Keane!!” . Having said that we have to give Ozil a chance, he is class and will probably outperform our CEsc

  81. arnie says:

    Redders: my apols again, it was you I was responding to. Is there a buyback clause in Cesc’s sale? Much depends on that. I agree that the transfer fee is an important detail.

  82. RA says:


    I have lost count, but I seem to recall you are on wife No.4 (so to speak) 🙂 so I think you might have to take Rocky’s tactics under advisement! 😀

    — “And I meant end up going back to Bird No. 1 anyway”

  83. arnie says:

    stranger things have happened. how many of us thought last year that Santi and Rambo were enough? we shall see.

    the question is transfer fee, but more importantly does Cesc want to return. if he does, I for one would be very happy.

    most importantly, I am getting somewhat persuaded by Raddy’s message that this discussion is perhaps a no-go zone. 😛

  84. Happy Bear says:

    Am I missing something today – what brought on the subject of Cesc? Is there a rumour of his return? I think our midfield is full

  85. arnie says:

    Evonne: OK, next one then. When are we parking our AA bus on the large driveway of your bungalow and having a fantastic picnic in your house? 😛

  86. RA says:

    arnie, I honestly do not know whether or not there is/was a buyback clause in Cesc’s sale conditions.

    It was widely reported, at the time, that there was, but Balague the TV pundit has now said there is no such clause – but he is notorious for getting things wrong.

    Last January he said that the transfer of Morata from Real Madrid to Arsenal was a ‘done deal’, but how did that one go? Then he said it was going to be a summer deal – and I say piggy wigs have just flown past my window! 🙂

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA @5:20 ROLF

    Is there another option. Cesc in the falsey 9? That way, you could play both. Throw in a speedy goal machine down the left (Benzema), and with Theo on the right, then bingo. You would definitely need an all conquering powerhouse of a DM though.

    It would however, be goodbye to Santi.

    Kind of

    …Mesut Cesc Rambo

    Now I look at it, it’s a bit how Liverpool play.

  88. Big Raddy says:

    RL. You are correct the current Mrs Raddy is No.4. 🙂

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooops, spacing never works. Budge over Theo 🙂

  90. RA says:


    Many would agree with you that having Cesc back would be a delight, and he is a classy player.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Does she know you use the word “current”?
    Appears to lack permanence 😦

  92. RA says:


    What is this? I write something and my fellow bloggers reply to Rocky, who is innocent! 😀

  93. arnie says:

    Redders: 🙂

    and Micky: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 that brings a lot of smiles to my face.

  94. kelsey says:

    A merry go round.

    Sagna to City,Cole and RVP, and, Song and Fabregas all return to us 🙂

    Fabregas,Ozil,Cazorla,Ramsey,Wiltshire = it will never work.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Sorry my friend – too much sun on my bald pate today!

  96. arnie says:

    I meant Micky’s 5:55. 😛

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Micky 😉 I hope that is a wink…..

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My line up would, Crystals

    Ok, Santi goes, but Jack and Ox would get plenty of play time.

    Ollie, Plan B. Sanogo on loan.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You complete my epic line up with one of the usual suspects:
    Schneiderlin, Martinez, Bender, Gonalons as DM.

    So, final edition of my squeeze Cesc and Mesut in:

    Benzema Theo
    ….Mesut Cesc Rambo

  100. RA says:


    I love it that Rocky gets the blame for my prattling. 🙂

  101. RA says:

    Where would Aurier, Anthony Martial, Bruma, Loic Remy, Manzukic and Giessman go?

    I just wish you would not shilly shally and skimp on incoming players, Micky! 🙂

  102. RA says:

    The new manager of Barca has been very evasive regarding Cesc, and this is a comment I half hitched from elsewhere — the cost is surely a problem, and also will he agree to Micky’s solution of where he will be squeezed in to the team.

    — “Manchester United are more in need of a creative central midfielder, (but) Arsenal could be in pole position thanks to his long standing relationship with the club where he made over 200 appearances.
    Arsene Wenger would no doubt be keen to bring the midfielder back but would likely have to pay over £40 million for his services.”

  103. RA says:

    I know, I know — I have bored the asses of all my friends, again — so it seems I have the choice of Hari Kiri or buggering off — on reflection – I will bugger off!


  104. RockyLives says:

    Why do people keep blaming me for Redders’ cheeky word smithery?

    He and I are nothing alike and just because we have never been seen in the same room together does not mean we are secretly the same person.

    Whoops, perhaps I’ve let the cat out of the bag…

  105. RockyLives says:

    Hara kiri by buggery – now there’s an unfortunate end, in more ways than one…

  106. RockyLives says:

    …reminds me of the Umbo Bumbo joke.

  107. ArseneAround says:

    OBL a clockender? all the evidence suggests Mossad did 9/11 (see dancing Israelis) I wonder what north London “football” team they follow?☻

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Pimples RA
    You flog Pod, Ollie (promote Sanogo to Plan B status), Flamini and Santi, again bingo, net spend of just…errrr
    Damn I’m good at this as well as tactics. Actually, I believe I hit my peak during transfer speculation/silly season 🙂

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “an unfortunate end, in more ways than one…” 🙂
    Spoke to OMC a few times recently. Didn’t meet Cup Final day as they met too far away for my 80 yr old weak bladdered escort.

  110. Shard says:

    Why is it Cesc vs Ozil? Surely Cesc can play in the Arteta role with Ramsey and they take turns in going forward? It would preclude signing a powerhouse DM, but with Flamini (and maybe Diaby?), that should be less of a problem than we’d give other teams surely?

    Ramsey wins a lot of tackles anyway, and gets forward to score goals. Won’t that production just go up with Cesc next to him and Walcott and another speedster to run ahead of Cesc and Ozil? Cazorla will need a rest next season especially if he goes to the World Cup. He’s played almost non-stop for 2 seasons now.

    From memory, when the Cesc transfer took place, what was reported was that we have the first right to buy, or we get 50% of the sell on fee. I think that should translate to us being able to get Cesc for half of what someone else pays. But that’s presuming that is accurate. We definitely have first refusal though. Wenger said so last year when he said that Cesc has decided to stay in Barca for one more year.

    Both Cesc and Vela back next season? We might just see the team that was supposed to be if all those guys had stuck around.

  111. arnie says:

    Shard. 🙂 Agreed.

    Raddy has sent me your email address. I am sending a one-liner to establish contact.

    Thanks a lot, Raddy. 🙂 🙂

  112. Shard says:

    Yes, I just saw that Raddy has sent me your email id too arnie. Thank you BR, and nice to ‘see’ you.

  113. LB says:

    Got it.


    —-NRB, Mert, Koz, Gibbs

    —Ramsey, NDM, Cazorla

    —-Walcott, Ozil, Fabregas

    Job done

    All that is left is to sign him.

  114. LB says:

    According to Guillem Balague Arsenal have no first option or buy back clause which if you think about it is a nonsense anyway. No such thing could possibly be enforceable.


    Even though manu have offered us (Barça) 40 mil we are going to honour Arsenal’s 30 mil buy back clause …….. yeah right!

  115. Shard says:


    I give to you Carlos Vela, who has confirmed that he has a buy-back clause of 4m euros.

    Buy back clauses can and do exist. Whether it does in Cesc’s case is unknown, I grant you. But as I said, Wenger basically confirmed there being first refusal option, ie, Arsenal to be made aware of and given opportunity to match any offer that is made.

    If Arsenal also have a sell on fee included in the terms of sale, then they can possibly argue that they simply pay that much less for Fabregas. The existence of this, however, is also unknown, although it was said to be 50% at the time.

  116. LB says:


    Arsenal may have a buy back clause with Carlos Vela of 4 mil but if someone offers 5mil how is it then enforceable?

    It can only work if 4 mil is the top offer. In that hypothetical scenario we would have first refusal.

    As for the sell on clause of both players I am not sure but, of course, I certainly hope we have one.

  117. LB says:


    Let me put it another way have you ever heard of a buy back clause that has been put into practice?

  118. Shard says:


    Why is it not enforceable? Just because the selling club won’t like it?(In which case they should not have agreed on a price before hand) Or do you think there’s a legal reason it can’t exist?

  119. LB says:


    In my view a better name for it would be the wishful thinking clause.

    Anyway, maybe I am missing something.

    Talk me through a possible scenario in which we would be able to sign Carlos Vela for 4mil when, lets say, Manu are prepared to offer 5?

  120. Shard says:

    No LB I haven’t. But then I haven’t heard of many players being brought back into their old clubs directly from the club they were sold to. It doesn’t prove anything either way.

  121. Shard says:

    If we sold Vela with the legal assurance that we would be able to get the player back any time we wanted for 4m euros, wouldn’t that be a legally binding contract? Something like a release clause? How does ManU or anyone come into it?

  122. LB says:


    I cannot imagine any club buying a player on the basis that at anytime the selling club could buy him back for a pre arranged fee.

    Not going to happen………..

    As for where did manu come into it? If you look again you will notice I used the words “lets say” before it which I think is often used as an alternative to the term “for example”.

  123. Shard says:


    What I meant by how ManU (or anyone) come into it, is because they are not party to the agreement between Arsenal and the other club. Whether they want to pay more or less would be inconsequential to anything that Arsenal and the other club have already agreed.

    Why would any club agree to it? Well in Real Sociedad’s case, I presume it was a way to get a good player for cheap, and they probably never expected Arsenal to realistically come back in for him. With Barcelona, they probably never expected to sell Fabregas. He was the prodigal son returned after all.

    Both clubs were probably happy to pay Arsenal less money in exchange for some clauses that seemed unimportant at the time. Compared to cold hard cash at least.

    Of course, I’m not saying such a clause exists for Fabregas. Apparently, it does for Vela.

    PS.Papers are now reporting Arsenal are going to buy Griezmann for reduced price by negotiating over the Vela buy back. I think they are just trying to find more transfers to write about.

  124. GOONERKAM says:

    Hahaha ROCKY
    fun post . can’t wait for the other 26. what are you gone do for x & z . haha
    As for A I would like to nominate AW.
    Wait. Does that count???

  125. GOONERKAM says:

    ” running around the mid field giving the finger to everyone”
    as an AM OR DM ?? please tell. Good tactics. I must give it try next time on the pitch. Sure to take the opponents focus away. (0(.

  126. GOONERKAM says:

    woops. There is n missing from alternative in title post.
    Pot calling kettle black and all that…

  127. LB says:


    I think we have taken this one as far as we can go.

    I remain convinced that buy back clauses are unenforceable when a higher offer has been made by a third party.

    This is backed up in my mind by the fact that there is not a single example of a player returning to his former club on the strength of a buy back clause.

  128. RA says:

    I have just popped on and seen the discussion on the ‘buy back’ clause.

    Me a lawyer? No.

    Right that is out of the way. In my opinion, you may both be right (LB and Shard).

    Football is full of odd ‘clauses’ concerning players, with contracts ‘owned’ by a group of owners, or with ‘buy out’ clauses and even ‘buy back’ clauses for a fixed price, and which, in essence, treat players as if they were commodities rather than just employees.

    So, it is possible (I have no knowledge of the facts) that there is indeed a buy back clause in the contract agreed by Real Sociedad when they bought him.

    You are probably aware of trading on the Futures Exchange, where commodities such as pork, wheat etc are bought at a fixed price for delivery at a fixed future date.

    The price when agreed cannot be changed even if the price falls through the floor (benefitting the seller) or goes through the roof (benefitting the buyer) even if the seller, for example could sell the pork or the wheat at three times the price he previously agreed.

    So, Vela’s sale price, at the time Arsenal sold him, may have been reduced as a consequence of the buy back clause, so in contract law there is an agreement to do something (agree a buy back clause) for a consideration (reduction of the player’s sale price), which would be enforceable in contract law.

    However, LB is right to query whether this could be enforced in practice, because Employment Law and Human Rights Law would probably (almost certainly) require a player, who is not a party to the contract between the clubs, to give his agreement and agree personal terms before such a transfer could go through, because he is not a commodity, and could not be forced to work (play) for an employer (club) he does not want to.

    You will note most reports say that Vela is ‘open’ to such a move, which reinforces my interpretation of the Law. 🙂

  129. Shard says:


    I thought it was clear that the player would have to give his assent to such a move and agree terms before said transfer took place. Hence that part wasn’t even up for discussion.

    I don’t agree with you that the lack of such a transfer being advertised is proof that such clauses cannot be enforced. But, you are correct in that we’ve taken this as far as it can go.

    I am still astonished that Barcelona would want to sell Fabregas. Let’s say that is true, and let’s say Barcelona would rather sell to ManU (and there is no clause) Does anyone expect Fabregas to refuse a move and only agree to move to Arsenal? He did that to us when it came to selling him.

    I’ve also been looking at Fabregas’ assists for us, and I am surprised by how many of them came from deep rather than the Am position. I guess this was when we played 4-4-2, with RVP, Adebayor (and even Vela) the beneficiary of his passes lofted over the defense. I can’t help but think that such a weapon in our armoury, aligned with the more subtle skill of Ozil pulling defenses out of position, would be impossible for defenses to live with. Provide them pace with Walcott and a new striker, with co-stars like Cazorla and Ramsey and you have a team to be feared. I don’t believe it has to be either Mesut or Fabregas. Why was that possibility even raised? It’s like saying we needed to sell Bergkamp for there to be space for Henry or Pires.

  130. 26may1989 says:

    Here’s a buy-back clause I knocked up:

    “During the term of the Agreement, before FC Barcelona may transfer the registration of Cesc Fabregas to a third party, FC Barcelona shall first offer the registration of Cesc Fabregas to Arsenal FC on terms that Arsenal FC shall pay £30million in respect of such transfer of registration. Arsenal FC shall have ten days following the date FC Barcelona first presents Arsenal FC such offer to decide whether to accept the offer made by FC Barcelona, after which FC Barcelona may negotiate terms with a third party. At all times, the transfer of the registration shall be subject to the consent of Cesc Fabregas.”

    Key elements: the price would (as with the reported Vela deal) be pre-agreed and the player always gets the final say-so.

  131. 26may1989 says:

    Oh, and I don’t believe Fabregas will be leaving Barca. Wenger already reported that he’s spoken to Cesc about it and he wants to stay for at least another year. I guess Luis Enrqiue might change that but it would be a bold move for an incoming manager.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:


    I’m amazed Cesc is even thinking about leaving Barca at all. Crap DNA if true 🙂

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Gorgeous,

    So, what’s it to be this morning. Steam Room perhaps?

    ps do you sleep with cucumber slices over your eyes?

  134. Big Raddy says:

    or with a Teddy?

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bit early for you Raddy. Hope you’re not being lured into the beauty treatment trap as well. It’s a vicious spiral of relentless pampering.

    Any transfer gossip 🙂

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Forgot to let our leaders know, but I sent a post in early yesterday. Just in case.

  137. chas says:

    Love the post. By the time I got to it, I couldn’t think of any other ‘A’s.

    Morning, Utter.
    No, rest day, today, just letting nature take its course. Might go for a full purge in a bit.

    Here’s my teddy, BR.

  138. Big Raddy says:

    A = Anguish. Sometimes it hurts so much

    Astonishing. Wilshire’s goal of the season

    Angles – Our midfield triangles

  139. Big Raddy says:

    chas !

    Micky Work 😦

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Javier Hernandez is leaving MU. Could be interesting.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Half arse work, Raddy 🙂

    Plenty to pack in over next few days. Children half term starts this pm. Surfing to do. House moving Sun-Thurs.

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Utter 🙂

  143. chas says:

    4 day house move.
    1 day people
    3 days pigs ?

  144. chas says:

    I’ve no idea why you all torture yourselves with all these players we aren’t going to buy. Masochism, maybe?
    We all know that if we end up with James Milner, we should count ourselves lucky.

  145. chas says:

  146. chas says:

    I just realised my last two comments had contradictory themes. 🙂

    I didn’t really look at Jog On’s text, just thought we needed reminding that the monkey is off the back, ya, Gunners, ya.

  147. chas says:

    I quite like the “all conquering powerhouse” super hero idea.

    The speed of Usain Bolt
    Tackling of Bobby Moore
    Endurance of Mo Farah
    Shoutiness of Brian Blessed
    Leadership of Genghis Khan
    Tits of Pamela Anderson
    Ability to morph his shirt number so that he can get booked 3 or 4 times in one game
    Positional sense of Bobby Fischer
    Ability to read the game of the Brothers Grimm
    All conquering nature of Attilla the Hun
    Tits like Pamela Anderson.

  148. chas says:

    Right, work, laters.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:


    It’s precisely because of your list at 6:58, that some of us love it all. We are the sorts that just like fun.

    As for your “We all know that if we end up with James Milner, we should count ourselves lucky”, may I gently suggest you jog on over to Kelsey’s corner, aka Camp Doom 🙂

  150. RA says:


    I think we should blow the whole transfer budget on Chas’s mystery player at 6:58.

    Now name names, Chas. 🙂

  151. RA says:

    If we sign Milner as a replacement for Sagna, because AW thinks he is an unrequited full back, I will squeam and squeam!! 🙂

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Holy Crap

    Done it again. Forgot it’s our wedding anniversary.

    Mrs D: “What date is our anniversary, and how long have we been married?”

    Moi: “Well, it was three days before May 26, so, Oh God, today, and it was a week after we did the double. That was 1998, therefore ummm..errr.. 16 years Darling”

  153. kelsey says:

    What’s all this camp doom,Micky I am extremely positive for at least half an hour a day

  154. Happy Bear says:

    Abu Diaby.

    Pamela Anderson’s tits aint hairy

  155. Happy Bear says:

    Micky – 98 must have been the best year of your life!! Congrats on the anniversary!!

    You got married on my Name Day, ie on 23 May all Evonnes in Poland receive gifts and flowers, and best wishes. Me, I have to insure my car today

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:


    Close, but 1989 was the best year of my life 🙂

    Ah, the name day thing. Very Catholic. Talking of which, I’m godfather to a wretched Catholic. I say wretched, because they don’t half pack in days when godparents are supposed to attend.

    Like tomorrow. In Paris! Not going. C of E children accepted only from now on 🙂

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Got it. A way out of the swamp. Go get ‘Er Indoors a commemorative tree or bush or something to plant around the new house somewhere.

    Where’s Peaches when you need her?

  158. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………….

  159. Sorry Micky, I was sorting the post ………….

  160. Happy Bear says:

    excellent idea Micky! Something romantic like Wisteria over the front door, or a climbing rose around the garage….

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